Backroad Ramblingsa

Is anyone else getting tired of wind? 

I know, we live in Nebraska – and some of you live in Wyoming where it’s even worse – so wind is a part of life. But come on! Can’t those clouds find something else to do for a while?

But, since “It’s an ill wind that blows no goo,”, here are some interesting facts about wind. Just in case you want to know more about what you’re complaining about.

• Fact 1: We’ve all heard of gales, squalls and zephyrs, but have you ever heard of a haboob? A haboob is a violent dust- or sandstorm. We do get them around here, but thanks to modern farming practices, they are less prevalent than the olden days. Back then, people probably called them things that can’t be repeated here.

• Fact 2: Speaking of gales, squalls and zephyrs, do you know the difference? Gales are a strong or violent wind. Squalls are a strong or violent wind accompanied by rain or snow. And a zephyr is a light, playful breeze. In the summer, when it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re about to bake alive, a zephyr is that little breeze that reminds you that there is a God.

• Fact 3: Have you ever heard of sirocco? If you ever lived near South Routt County in Colorado, you know that was the name of the school. But a sirocco is also a hot, dry, dusty wind that blows across the Sahara Desert.

• Fact 4: A Chinook is a wind that blows warm air down the Rocky Mountains to raise the temperatures in the valley below. We had one of these a few weeks ago that melted all the snow overnight. Chinooks are one of the best things about spring.

• Fact 5: Have you ever seen a willy-willy? If you’ve ever seen a dust devil you have. That’s what they call it in Australia. 

• Fact 6: Trade winds are the ones that blow from the northeast in the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere. They are steady and reliable enough to plan trade routes around, especially back in the days of sailing ships.

There is a saying that goes, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts his sails.” 

In this country, it goes like this. “Everybody complains about the wind. Everybody knows it will change. Smart people pitch hay from the upwind side!”


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