Difference between Gust and Wind

While gusts and wind might seem pretty similar to most, there are a number of differences between the two. The reason behind the occurrence of gusts is the sudden shift of air pressure in the environment from high to low, with wind blowing through trees and buildings. However, wind blows when hot air merges with cold air, which causes changes in the atmospheric pressure. The rotation of the earth as it orbits the sun also causes wind.

When comparing the two, it is important to note that winds last much longer than gusts, and have varying speeds; on the other hand, a gust usually lasts for twenty seconds at most.


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    A short and sudden blast of wind is called a gust, and this is the result of a sudden increase in the speed of the wind. For a gust to actually occur, wind speeds need to have reached around 16 knots. Gusts begin and end abruptly. A major reason behind the occurrence of gusts is the sudden shifts of air pressure in the atmosphere, from high to low. Furthermore, the nature of the location also plays a major part in the occurrence of gusts; when winds pass through tall trees or any other high infrastructure, the speed of the wind increases for a short while, and it is during this time period that gusts are produced.

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    The rapid flow of gases in an environment, often known as the bulk movement of air, is actually called wind. The wind which we experience is a result of the mergence of hot and cold air, bringing a rapid change in the air pressure of an environment, as opposed to solar winds which occur in outer space. The earth’s rotation while orbiting the sun is yet another reason for the occurrence of winds. Wind is a very important component of the weather of this planet, as it plays its role in the formation of fertile soils, erosion, the moving of whole desserts, the dispersing of seeds, and the spreading of wildfires. It is with the help of wind that plants manage to spread seeds from one place to the other.

    In ancient times, strong winds were actually one of the key weather conditions that were required in order to set sail on ships. The length of a journey by sea depended on winds alone.

    In today’s world, there are many countries that use wind to generate electricity. Constant winds are essential for the smooth running of electric power in those parts of the world.

    In areas with sand, winds are a menace as they become a major problem for the residents, preventing them from going out when there is sand blowing everywhere. These types of winds are very common in the Arabian deserts.

    Image courtesy: windows2universe.org

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