# Does Location E have airflow that descends, diverges, ascends or converges?

Does Location E have airflow that descends, diverges, ascends or converges?

Question 4: Is the air sinking (descending) or rising (ascending) in the picture?

A. The air is sinking

B. The air is rising

C. The air is stationary

D. Unable to discern from information provided

Question 5: How does data from wind turbines help weather forecasts?

A. They collect data at elevations where weather data are not routinely collected, which could improve forecasts

B. Wind speed data are used in the decision to turn on or off the turbines

C. Electricity generated from the turbines is used to power forecasting models

D. They donft. Turbines depend on weather forecasts

Collapse and uncheck the INTRODUCTION folder.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Wind power is a form of solar power. Solar radiation (sunlight) heats up the surface of the Earth, but does so unevenly. This is because surfaces on Earth absorb, retain, and release heat at different rates. The uneven heating of the Earthfs surface results in the formation of unequal pressures in the atmosphere; namely, high pressures and low pressures. As air pressure moves from high pressure areas

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to low pressure areas, wind forms. We can harness the power of wind near the Earthfs surface with wind turbines, and convert the kinetic energy of wind into electricity (measured by kilowatts, kW, or megawatts, MW) for our homes and businesses. Note that all the wind speeds have been rounded to the nearest mile per hour. Remember to include your unit of miles per hour.

Expand the GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE folder.

Double-click and select Wind Farm A.

Question 6: In which country is this wind farm?

A. Brazil

B. Chile

C. Argentina

Question 7: What is the average wind speed?

A. 13 mph

B. 23 mph

C. 33 mph

D. 43 mph

Double-click and select Wind Farm B.

Question 8: In which country is this wind farm?

A. Switzerland

B. Austria

C. Czech Republic

D. Vienna

Question 9: What is the average wind speed?

A. 12 mph

B. 22 mph

C. 32 mph

D. 42 mph

Double-click and select Wind Farm C.

Question 10: In which country is this wind farm?

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A. Scotland

B. Northern Ireland

C. Wales

D. England

Question 11: What is the average wind speed?

A. 12 mph

B. 22 mph

C. 32 mph

D. 42 mph

Double-click and select Wind Farm D.

Question 12: In which part (northern, eastern, western, southern) of what country is this wind farm?

A. Northern

B. Eastern

C. Western

D. Southern

Question 13 What is the average wind speed?

A. 33 feet/sec

B. 33 km/h

C. 33 mph

D. 33 m/s

Double-click and select Area of Wind Farm. This shows the entire area of Wind Farm D.

Double-click and select Beaufort Wind Scale.

This wind scale is used to visually estimate wind. It was first introduced in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer to the Royal Navy. The Beaufort wind scale was then standardized in 1955 by the US National Weather Service.

Question 14: Based on the Beaufort Wind Scale, what would be the wind speed in knots for Wind Farm C? (Hint: 1 knot is 1.15 mph. To convert, take the wind speed for Wind Farm C and divide by 1.15 to determine the knots)

A. 19 knots

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Figure 6.1: Atmospheric pressure map (Arbogast, 2nd Ed.)

B. 23 knots

C. 29 knots

D. 15 knots

Question 15: Based on the Beaufort Wind Scale, what is the World Meteriological Organizationfs (WMO) wind classification for the average wind speed at Wind Farm C?

A. Light Air

B. Light Breeze

C. Gentle Breeze

D. Fresh Breeze

Collapse and uncheck the GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE folder.

FORCES OF WIND

Isobars (iso = equal, bar = pressure) can provide us information about the speed and direction of wind. Isobars are plain, curved lines on a map that indicate areas of equal air pressure. Where lines are closer, the winds are stronger and therefore have more speed.

Several forces impact the speed and direction of wind. Gravity is arguably the most important . without gravity we would not have air pressure, and therefore, no wind. The pressure gradient force is also important . because of the tendency for air to move from areas of higher pressure (more dense air) to areas of low pressure (less dense air). However, wind at the surface does not flow across pressure gradients . that is, directly from high pressure systems to low pressure systems.

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This is due to the Coriolis effect (that is, the Earth spinning) deflecting wind from a straight path, as well as the frictional force reducing wind speed at the surface of the Earth.

Expand the FORCES OF WIND folder.

Select Pressure Gradient, Coriolis and Friction. In the pop-up window, click Pressure Gradient, Coriolis and Friction to view the animation (which opens in your browser). Within the animation, begin with Pressure Gradient and view both the chart and the details for all three physical forces.

Question 16: Pressure Gradient – what is the direction of air flow between high and low pressure systems?

a. Rotary motion, or twist, between high and low pressures

b. Movement at right angles between high and low pressures

c. Spiral into high pressure areas and out of low pressure areas

d. Spiral out of high pressure areas and into low pressure areas

Question 17: How do winds flow with pressure gradient?

a. Spiral out from isobars (between parallel and perpendicular)

b. Perpendicular (at right angles) to the isobars

c. Parallel to the isobars

d. None of these

Question 18: Pressure Gradient and Coriolis Forces – what is the direction of air flow between high and low pressure systems?

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