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Geography: Local Winds

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Winds, caused by local factors and confined to a limited area compared to planetary winds, are called local winds. Some well known examples of local winds are given below:


Bora: A gusty wind which blows in the Adriatic Sea, and affects Croatia, Greece, Russia and Turkey during wintertime.

Chinook: A Katabatic, dry and effective wind that melts snow in the Pacific Northwest of USA and Canada.

Föhn:  A Katabatic, dry mountain wind that can raise the air temperature very quickly over the Alps into Central Europe.

Hamsin: A dry, hot and dusty local wind blowing in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, between March and May.

Harmattan: A dry and dusty West African trade wind blowing south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea, between November and March; it causes a haze in the sky.

Helm: A strong north-easterly wind which blows in Cumbria, England.

Levante: A warm, east to north-east wind that runs in the Alboran Channel and is funnelled through the Strait of Gibraltar; strong Levante winds produce heavy swell.

Mistral: A strong, cold and usually dry regional wind that affects the South-eastern region of France and the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Monsoon: A seasonal reversing wind that bring precipitation to South Asia.