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Breaking it Down with Brittney - Gales of November

Gales of November whip not only the Great Lakes but also us on land, here's why...
Posted at 11:15 AM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 12:15:56-05

GALES OF NOVEMBER - What creates them during this specific month and why?

Meteorologist Brittney Merlot breaks down the science behind the typical Fall storms that strike, ripping off foliage and creating dangerous waves on the lakes.

To start, you must understand what causes wind in the first place. Winds occur simply because of differences in atmospheric pressure, which are mostly due to temperature fluctuations.

The air temp difference causes the movement of the wind. For example, opening a soda pop with an increased pressure inside... it makes a noise when you crack it open, releasing the pressure. It is essentially going from a higher pressure to a lower pressure area, until it's equal.

Same happens with the Earth, when a difference in atmospheric pressure exists, air moves from the higher to the lower pressure area, which results in winds of varying speeds.

The two primary driving factors of global-scale wind patterns are the differential heating between the equator and the poles (difference in absorption of solar energy leading to buoyancy forces) and the rotation of the planet.

So what usually happens in Fall? The poles begin to get colder, while the equator stays hot. This is why we typically get blasted with the Gales of November. It's the planet trying to reach an equilibrium state of pressure and temperatures, creating STRONG winds, known as the "Gales of November".