Friday, March 28, 2014

It is spring . . . therefore, there is wind

I never knew what wind was until I moved to Nevada.  Yes, we had windy days in Ohio, but nothing like what I experience here.  I live along a wind-blown corridor that runs from Carson City north to Reno.  It is a long valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Pine Nut Mountains where the wind blows so hard, they will prohibit high profile trucks, campers, and SUV’s to drive along the one and only route between the two cities. 

Mostly when we get those days, it is because a weather system is pushing its way over the mountains on its trek east.  It is nothing for the wind to blow up to and even higher than 70 mph.  It has been known to blow eighteen wheelers over with one gust, which is why they prohibit them from getting on the roads.  Needless to say, these gusts will blow over your lawn furniture, knock down fences, and scatter debris across your yard.

But the spring winds I’m talking about are the ones that start shortly after noon every day in the spring. It occurs when the valley floor between the two mountain ranges is warmed by the sun.  The warm air rises because it is less dense and lighter than the surrounding air.  As it rises, the cool air hovering over the still snow-covered mountains rushes downward.  It is a localized phenomenon called convection, that doesn’t stop until the valley floor finally cools.

The winds caused by the exchange of air masses aren’t as fierce as when a storm is passing over, and, once the snow on the mountains melts—the winds are gone.

Your turn:  Do you have any strange weather incidents where you live?


  1. That is fairly amazing. I wouldn't want to be out in it. Here in MN? Maybe more prolonged winter cold and snow than I've ever seen in my life. This has been a record-breaking year, one experience that I am not ready to repeat. We are so ready for warmer temps and growing things.

  2. I used to wonder why the temperature always dropped after the sun came up. That didn't make sense to me until one day I remembered that heat rises. When the sun comes up, its rays warm things up. That heat rises, leaving the temperatures colder than before daylight. Weird how nature works...

  3. Dee, I agree that the eastern part of the US has been blasted this year. I think I'd take the wind over the snow and cold!

  4. Reba,
    Wow does that make sense. We feel that here too. You'd think the morning sun would warm everything, but it just gets colder. I never thought about it. Thanks for your reply!