#WxGeekSpeak: Downslope Winds

Every week, the blog introduces you to a technical term from the American Meteorology Society’s “Glossary of Meteorology”. Welcome to #WxGeekSpeak!

Live in Vail or Corona de Tucson & wonder why it always seems windy? Here’s one of the main culprits. Click the video above to learn all about downslope winds.

Full definition of downslope winds:

  1. A wind directed down a slope, often used to describe winds produced by processes larger in scale than the slope.
    Because this flow produces subsidence, downslope winds experience warming, drying, increasing stability, and clearing if clouds are present.
  2. Flow directed down a mountain slope and driven by cooling at the earth’s surface: a component of the mountain–valley or mountain–plains wind systems;
    same as katabatic wind.
    The many synonyms for downslope flow are sometimes used interchangeably, and this gives rise to ambiguity and confusion. Downslope can be used generically to denote any wind flow blowing down a slope, or it is used specifically for katabatic flows on any scale, such as the nocturnal slope-wind component of mountain–valley wind systems or mountain–plains wind systems.
    See katabatic wind, gravity wind, drainage wind, fall wind, bora, foehn, chinook.
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One thought on “#WxGeekSpeak: Downslope Winds

  1. Had our home built out here in Vail back in 1998 and we love it. One windy day, locals saw what looked like a UFO. Turned out to be another neighbor’s trampoline! Out here we call it “The Vail Gale”.

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