How are sudden gusts of air created?

20 February 2011

Question

How are sudden gusts of air created?

Answer

We posed this question to Peter Braesicke from the University of Cambridge...

Peter - I think, as we've heard from one of the scientists at the FAAM aircraft measuring the atmosphere, if you go into the boundary layer, you get lots of vortices and these vortices interact with each other. When you feel a gust, it's usually one of the vortices peeling off and shedding its energy. Ben - So it's a little bit of turbulence?

Peter - Exactly, yes.

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