Wind Names

A squall frequent from May through August between
Cabo de Sao Tome and Cabo Frio on the coast of Brazil.

Auster Same as OSTRIA

Austru  A east or southeast wind
in Rumania.  They are cold in winter and may be a local name for a foehn wind.
(Glossary of Meteorology)

Bali wind A
strong east wind at the eastern end of Java.

Barat A heavy
northwest squall in Manado Bay on the north coast of the island of Celebes, prevalent from
December to February.

Barber A strong
wind carrying damp snow or sleet and spray that freezes upon contact with objects,
especially the beard and hair.

Bayamo A
violent wind blowing from the land on the south coast of Cuba, especially near the Bight
of Bayamo.

Bentu de Soli An
east wind on the coast of Sardinia.

Bora A cold,
northerly wind blowing from the Hungarian basin into the Adriatic Sea. See also FALL WIND.

Borasco A
thunderstorm or violent squall, especially in the Mediterranean.

Boreas  A ancient Greek name for north winds.  (also
borras)  The term may originally have meant “wind from the
mountains” and thus the present term BORA. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Brickfielder: A wind from the desert in Southern Australia.
Precedes the passage of a frontal zone of a low passing by. Has the same dusty character
as the Harmattan. (Evert Wesker, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Brisa, Briza 1.
A northeast wind which blows on the coast of South America or an east wind which blows on
Puerto Rico during the trade wind season. 2. The northeast monsoon in the Philippines.

Brisote The
northeast trade wind when it is blowing stronger than usual on Cuba.

Brubu A name
for a squall in the East Indies.

Bull’s Eye Squall A squall forming in fair weather, characteristic
of the ocean off the coast of South Africa. It is named for the peculiar appearance of the
small isolated cloud marking the top of the invisible vortex of the storm.

Cape Doctor The
strong southeast wind which blows on the South African coast. Also called the DOCTOR.

Caver, Kaver A
gentle breeze in the Hebrides.

Chinook A type of foehn
wind. Refers to the warm downslope wind in the Rocky Mountains that may occur after an
intense cold spell when the temperature could rise by 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in a
matter of minutes. Also known as the Snow Eater. (Weather Channel Glossary)

Chubasco A
violent squall with thunder and lightning, encountered during the rainy season along the
west coast of Central America.

Churada A
severe rain squall in the Mariana Islands during the northeast monsoon. They occur from
November to April or May, especially from January through March.

Cierzo See

Contrastes Winds
a short distance apart blowing from opposite quadrants, frequent in the spring and fall in
the western Mediterranean.

Cordonazo The
“Lash of St. Francis.” Name applied locally to southerly hurricane winds along
the west coast of Mexico. It is associated with tropical cyclones in the southeastern
North Pacific Ocean. These storms may occur from May to November, but ordinarily affect
the coastal areas most severely near or after the Feast of St. Francis, October 4.

Coromell A
night land breeze prevailing from November to May at La Paz, near the southern extremity
of the Gulf of California.

Cyclone A severe tropical storm
(i.e., winds >64 knots) in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal.   See also
Hurricane and Typhoon.  The term is also applied to closed circulations in the mid
latitudes and also popularly to small scale circulations such as tornadoes.

Diablo Northern
California version of Santa Ana winds. These winds occur below canyons in the East Bay
hills (Diablo range) and in extreme cases can exceed 60 mph. They develop due to high
pressure over Nevada and lower pressure along the central California coast. (NWS San
Francisco Glossary)

Doctor 1. A
cooling sea breeze in the Tropics. 2. See HARMATTAN. 3. The strong SE wind which blows on
the south African coast. Usually called CAPE DOCTOR.

Elephanta A
strong southerly or southeasterly wind which blows on the Malabar coast of India during
the months of September and October and marks the end of the southwest monsoon.

Etesian A
refreshing northerly summer wind of the Mediterranean, especially over the Aegean Sea.

Euros The Greek name for the rainy,
stormy southeast wind. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Foehn A warm dry wind
on the lee side of a mountain range, whose temperature is increased as the wind descends
down the slope. It is created when air flows downhill from a high elevation, raising the
temperature by adiabatic compression. Examples include the Chinook wind and the Santa Ana
wind. Classified as a katabatic wind. (Weather Channel Glossary)

Fremantle Doctor A cooling seabreeze
in Western Australia,often made note of during hot summer-time cricket matches. (Ian
Staples, Australia)

Gregale A
strong northeast wind of the central Mediterranean.

Haboob  A strong
wind and sandstorm (or duststorm) in the northern and central Sudan, especially around
Khartum, where the average number is about 24 per year. The name come from the Arabic
word, “habb”, meaning wind. (Bill Mork, California State Climatologist)

Harmattan The
dry, dusty trade wind blowing off the Sahara Desert across the Gulf of Guinea and the Cape
Verde Islands. Sometimes called the DOCTOR, because of its supposed healthful properties.

Hurricane  A severe tropical
storm (i.e., winds >64 knots) in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern
Pacific.  The word is believed to originate from the Caribbean Indian storm god
“Huracan”.  See also Typhoon and Cyclone.

Knik Wind A
strong southeast wind in the vicinity of Palmer, Alaska, most frequent in the winter.

Kona Storm A
storm over the Hawaiian Islands, characterized by strong southerly or southwesterly winds
and heavy rains.

Leste A hot,
dry, easterly wind of the Madeira and Canary Islands.

Levanter A
strong easterly wind of the Mediterranean, especially in the Strait of Gibraltar, attended
by cloudy, foggy, and sometimes rainy weather especially in winter.

Levantera A
persistent east wind of the Adriatic, usually accompanied by cloudy weather.

Levanto A hot
southeasterly wind which blows over the Canary Islands.

Leveche A warm
wind in Spain, either a foehn or a hot southerly wind in advance of a low pressure area
moving from the Sahara Desert. Called a SIROCCO in other parts of the Mediterranean area.

Maestro A
northwesterly wind with fine weather which blows, especially in summer, in the Adriatic.
It is most frequent on the western shore. This wind is also found on the coasts of Corsica
and Sardinia.

Maria  A fictional wind
popularized in “Paint Your Wagon” (Lerner and Lowe, 1951) and by the Kingston
Trio (1959), whose name may have originated with the 1941 book “Storm” by George
R. Stewart. (Jan Null, Golden Gate Weather Services)

Matanuska Wind A
strong, gusty, northeast wind which occasionally occurs during the winter in the vicinity
of Palmer, Alaska.

Mistral A cold,
dry wind blowing from the north over the northwest coast of the Mediterranean Sea,
particularly over the Gulf of Lions. Also called CIERZO. See also FALL WIND.

Nashi, N’aschi A
northeast wind which occurs in winter on the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf, especially
near the entrance to the gulf, and also on the Makran coast. It is probably associated
with an outflow from the central Asiatic anticyclone which extends over the high land of
Iran. It is similar in character but less severe than the BORA.

Norte A strong
cold northeasterly wind which blows in Mexico and on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It
results from an outbreak of cold air from the north. It is the Mexican extension of a

Nor’easter A northeast wind,
particularly a strong wind or gale; an unusually strong storm preceded by  northeast
winds off the coast of New England. Also called Northeaster. (Glossary of Weather and

Nor’wester This is a very warm wind
which can blow for days on end in the province of Canterbury New Zealand. The effect is
especially felt in the city of Christchurch. The wind comes in from the Tasman Sea, drys
as it rises over the Southern Alps, heats as it decends, crosses the Canterbury Plains,
then blows through Christchurch.. (Kerry Fitzpatrick)

Norther A cold strong northerly wind
in the Southern Plains of the United States, especially in Texas, which results in a
drastic drop in air temperatures.  Also called a Blue Norther.  (Glossary of
Weather and Climate)

Ostria A warm southerly wind on the
Bulgarian coast; considered a precursor of bad weather. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Pali A local name for
strong winds which blow through the Pali Pass above Honolulu, HI.  (Michael Polansky,
San Francisco)

Pampero A west or southwest wind in Southern Argentina. This wind
(often violently) picks up during the passage of a cold
front of an active low passing by.
(Evert Wesker, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands)

Papagayo A violent
northeasterly fall wind on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua and Guatemala. It consists of
the cold air mass of a norte which has
overridden the mountains of Central America. See also TEHUANTEPECER.

Santa Ana A
strong, hot, dry wind blowing out into San Pedro Channel from the southern California
desert through Santa Ana Pass.

Shamal A summer
northwesterly wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf, often strong during the day,
but decreasing at night.

Sharki A
southeasterly wind which sometimes blows in the Persian Gulf.

Sirocco A warm
wind of the Mediterranean area, either a foehn or a hot southerly wind in advance of a low
pressure area moving from the Sahara or Arabian deserts. Called LEVECHE in Spain.

Squamish A
strong and often violent wind occurring in many of the fjords of British Columbia.
Squamishes occur in those fjords oriented in a northeast-southwest or east-west direction
where cold polar air can be funneled westward. They are notable in Jervis, Toba, and Bute
inlets and in Dean Channel and Portland Canal. Squamishes lose their strength when free of
the confining fjords and are not noticeable 15 to 20 miles offshore.

Suestado A
storm with southeast gales, caused by intense cyclonic activity off the coasts of
Argentina and Uruguay, which affects the southern part of the coast of Brazil in the

Sumatra A
squall with violent thunder, lightning, and rain, which blows at night in the Malacca
Straits, especially during the southwest monsoon. It is intensified by strong mountain

Sundowner Warm
downslope winds that periodically occur along a short segment of the Southern California
coast in the vicinity of Santa Barbara. The name refers to their typical onset (on the
populated coastal plain) in the late afternoon or early evening, though they can occur at
any time of the day. In extreme cases, wind speeds can be of gale force or higher, and
temperatures over the coastal plain and even at the coast itself can rise significantly
above 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F). (Warren Blier, SOO, NWS San Francisco)

Taku Wind A
strong, gusty, east-northeast wind, occurring in the vicinity of Juneau, Alaska, between
October and March. At the mouth of the Taku River, after which it is named, it sometimes
attains hurricane force.

Tehuantepecer A
violent squally wind from north or north-northeast in the Gulf of Tehuantepec (south of
southern Mexico) in winter. It originates in the Gulf of Mexico as a norther which crosses
the isthmus and blows through the gap between the Mexican and Guatamalan mountains. It may
be felt up to 100 miles out to sea. See also PAPAGAYO.

Tramontana A
northeasterly or northerly winter wind off the west coast of Italy. It is a fresh wind of
the fine weather mistral type.

Typhoon A severe tropical storm
(i.e., winds >64 knots) in the Western Pacific.  The word is believed to originate
from the Chinese word “ty-fung”.  See also Hurricane and Cyclone.

Vardar A cold
fall wind blowing from the northwest down the Vardar valley in Greece to the Gulf of
Salonica. It occurs when atmospheric pressure over eastern Europe is higher than over the
Aegean Sea, as is often the case in winter. Also called VARDARAC.

Warm Braw A
foehn wind in the Schouten Islands north of New Guinea.

White Squall A
sudden, strong gust of wind coming up without warning, noted by whitecaps or white, broken
water; usually seen in whirlwind form in clear weather in the tropics.

Williwaw A
sudden blast of wind descending from a mountainous coast to the sea, in the Strait of
Magellan or the Aleutian Islands.

Willy-willy  A tropical cyclone (with winds 33
knots or greater) in Australia, especially in the southwest. (Glossary of Weather and
Climate)  More recent common usage is for dust-devils.

Zephyros  The ancient Greek name for the west
wind, which generally light and beneficial.  It has evolved into “zephyr”
which denotes a soft gentle breeze. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Other Sources:
Glossary of Meteorology (Ralph Huschke, ed., American Meteorological Society, 1959)
Glossary of Weather and Climate (Ira Geer, ed., American Meteorological Society, 1996)

NWS San Francisco Glossary
They Call the
Wind Maria

Weather Channel Glossary


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