List of Local Winds

Introduction to Local Winds

Local winds are influenced by local conditions and geography. Local winds are more transient than global atmospheric circulation winds and can vary greatly over short distances. They are mostly caused by Earth’s surface temperature differences, which are caused by terrain, vegetation, water bodies, and urbanization.

Local weather patterns are shaped by these winds, which can have major impacts on climate and daily life. They affect air quality, temperatures, and precipitation. Understanding local winds is important for agriculture, sailing, aviation, and urban planning because they affect crop growth, navigation, flight safety, and pollutant dispersion.

According to their temperature, local winds are hot or cold. Air heated and rising creates a low-pressure area that draws in air from surrounding areas, causing hot local winds. In contrast, dense, cold air from higher elevations or polar regions sinks toward lower areas, creating high-pressure systems that drive cold local winds. Each local wind has its own origin, speed, direction, and environmental impact.

Local winds are both scientifically and practically important. Predicting and understanding these winds can reduce their harmful effects, such as extreme temperatures, wildfires, and destructive storms. Local winds affect human activities and natural ecosystems, making them an important part of meteorology and weather forecasting.

Hot Local Winds:

Covering all hot winds of the world is quite extensive, but here’s a more comprehensive list of some of the well-known hot local winds from various parts of the globe:

  1. Santa Ana Winds – Southern California, USA: Hot, dry winds from the desert areas.
  2. Chinook Winds – Rocky Mountains, USA/Canada: Warm, dry winds descending eastern slopes of the Rockies.
  3. Sirocco (Scirocco) – North Africa to Southern Europe: Hot, sometimes dusty wind from the Sahara.
  4. Foehn Winds – Downwind of mountain ranges, Europe: Warm, dry winds on the lee side of mountains.
  5. Khamsin – Egypt: Hot, dry, and dusty wind from the Sahara.
  6. Loo – Northern plains of India: Hot and dry summer wind.
  7. Harmattan – West Africa: Dry and dusty northeasterly trade wind from the Sahara.
  8. Calima – Canary Islands: Hot, sand-laden wind from the Sahara.
  9. Ghibli – Libya: Hot, dry, south-easterly wind blowing from the Sahara.
  10. Zonda Wind – Argentina: Warm, dry wind affecting the western Argentinean plains.
  11. Berg Wind – South Africa: Hot, dry wind flowing from the interior plateau down towards the coast.
  12. Nor’wester – Bangladesh and West Bengal, India: Hot and humid wind from the northwest.
  13. Puelche Wind – Chile: Warm, dry wind descending the Andes’ eastern slopes.
  14. Sharav or Hamsin – Israel: Hot, dry southern wind.

Each of these winds has unique characteristics influenced by local geography, temperature differences, atmospheric pressure systems, and other climatic factors. They can have profound effects on the regions they affect, including raising temperatures, reducing humidity, affecting air quality, impacting ecosystems and agriculture, and sometimes exacerbating natural disasters like wildfires. Understanding these winds is crucial for predicting weather patterns, planning agricultural activities, and preparing for potential adverse effects on human health and safety.

Cold Local Winds

Cold local winds are typically known for bringing colder air from higher latitudes or altitudes down to lower areas. Here’s a list of some well-known cold local winds around the world:

  1. Mistral – Southern France: A cold, dry northerly wind that flows down the Rhone Valley to the Mediterranean.
  2. Bora – Adriatic Sea: A cold, northerly wind affecting coastal regions of Greece, Croatia, and Italy.
  3. Pampero – Argentina and Uruguay: A cold wind that originates in the Andes and sweeps across the Pampas.
  4. Norte – Gulf of Mexico: A cold front that brings cold northerly winds to the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico’s east coast.
  5. Hawk – Chicago, USA: A term used to describe the cold winter winds coming off Lake Michigan into Chicago.
  6. Tramontane – France: A cold wind from the north, similar to the Mistral, affecting the region of Languedoc.
  7. Harmattan – West Africa: Although it can be hot, it is often considered a cold wind as it brings lower temperatures during the West African winter.
  8. Purga – Russia: A frigid wind experienced in Siberia, known for its intense cold.
  9. Williwaw – Strait of Magellan, Alaska: A sudden and violent cold wind descending from the mountains to the sea.
  10. Burian or Bora – Eastern Europe and Russia: A cold northeasterly wind from Siberia, especially severe in winter.
  11. Levante – Spain: A wind that can be cold or warm but is considered here due to its colder episodes, affecting the Spanish Mediterranean.
  12. Aajej – Western Sahara: A violent, cold northwesterly wind.
  13. Gregale – Malta: A northeast wind in the Mediterranean, particularly affecting the Maltese Islands.
  14. Katabatic Winds – General: A term for any wind flowing downhill; in Antarctica, these can be extremely cold as they bring air from the interior of the continent.

These cold winds can have a variety of impacts depending on the region, from dropping temperatures to bringing storms, snow, or clear skies. They often occur due to high-pressure systems pushing cold air from higher altitudes or latitudes towards lower, warmer areas. The cold air, being dense, flows downwards and can pick up speed and intensity, especially when channeled through valleys or across open plains. Understanding these winds is vital for regions affected by them, impacting everything from daily weather to agriculture, transportation, and heating needs.

Comparison between Hot and Cold Local Winds:

Hot and cold local winds have distinct characteristics, origins, and impacts on the environment and human activities. Here’s a comparison of the two:

Origins and Causes:

  • Hot Local Winds: Typically originate in hot, arid regions and are often associated with descending air that warms up adiabatically. They are usually associated with high-pressure systems.
  • Cold Local Winds: Usually originate from cold, high latitude or high altitude regions and are associated with cold air masses moving towards lower areas. They often come from high-pressure systems as well but are distinguished by their cold air descending from higher elevations or latitudes.

Temperature and Humidity:

  • Hot Local Winds: Increase the temperature and decrease the humidity of the areas they affect. They can lead to dry conditions and sometimes exacerbate droughts.
  • Cold Local Winds: Decrease the temperature and can vary in humidity. Some cold winds are dry, especially if they originate from interior landmasses, while others might be moist if they pick up moisture along the way.


  • Hot Local Winds: Santa Ana, Chinook, Sirocco, and Foehn.
  • Cold Local Winds: Mistral, Bora, Pampero, and Norte.


  • Hot Local Winds:
    • Can cause heatwaves and elevate fire risks.
    • Often lead to uncomfortable conditions and stress on both ecosystems and human health.
    • May cause rapid melting of snow and ice in certain regions.
  • Cold Local Winds:
    • Can lead to sudden drops in temperature, frost, and snow conditions.
    • Affect agriculture by potentially damaging crops with sudden cold or frost.
    • Can be beneficial in some cases by bringing needed cold or moisture to certain environments.


  • Hot Local Winds: Often associated with the warmer months or transitioning periods but can occur any time of the year depending on regional climate conditions.
  • Cold Local Winds: Typically associated with colder months or transitioning from warm to cold seasons.

Geographical Distribution:

  • Both hot and cold local winds are tied closely to the geographical features of the regions they affect, such as mountain ranges, coastlines, and deserts. However, hot winds are more prevalent in areas near deserts and lower latitudes, while cold winds are common in higher latitudes or altitudes.

Understanding the differences and similarities between hot and cold local winds is crucial for predicting their occurrence and mitigating their impacts. While both types of winds can significantly affect local weather patterns, ecosystems, and human societies, their distinct characteristics require tailored approaches in terms of preparation and response.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here