Temperature Gradients = Wind

I made a rather neat, yet meteorologically obvious, observation today. You may know that tighter pressure gradients produce stronger winds. But, tight temperature gradients can also create some strong winds. This is most notably observed at the surface with heat bursts.

21z RAP Analysis - Unidata IDV
21z RAP Analysis – Unidata IDV

I was looking at 500mb temperatures, and noticed that when isotherms, or lines of equal temperature, were close together the jet stream responded by increasing in speed. This can be seen in the above image near the East Coast. This infers that the difference in temperature causes differences in air pressure, producing wind. Pretty cool stuff!

Note: The above image was made by myself in Unidata’s Integrated Data Viewer. I encourage all meteorologists, and weather enthusiasts looking to learn more meteorology, to download the free software. It’s a great solution to creating a model product if you can’t find one online anywhere.