Ms Mocke and some of her Gr 12 Geography students enjoying no wind!

Ms Mocke and some of her Gr 12 Geography students enjoying no wind!

The Grade 11 and 12 Geography students are currently learning about micro-climates. During this chapter we look at the formation of Berg winds along the South African coast as well as other parts around the world and what they are called.

In America, the Berg wind is most commonly referred to as a “Chinook wind” which means snow eater.

We have all experienced the ultimate JOY of that delightful phenomenon as it brings warmth and sunshine during our cold and miserable winters. And just as the name suggests, a berg wind is a wind which comes from the mountains.

More specifically, a berg wind originates during winter months when the interior plateau of South Africa is experiencing a cold and dry winter. This creates a HIGH pressure over the interior. Along the coast, regions are moderated by the oceans and temperatures are warmer than the interior- this creates a LOW pressure. Now the planet is a wonderful thing….. because of this pressure difference it wants to create a BALANCE therefore, air travels from the interior HIGH towards the coastal LOW. This air is heated up as it travels down the escarpment and reaches the coast.

See the synoptic chart below which shows a coastal LOW and interior HIGH which are favourable conditions for the formation of Berg winds.

Air will travel FROM the interior high INTO the coastal low bringing warm air which results in an uncharacteristically warm ind during winter.

Air will travel FROM the interior high INTO the coastal low bringing warm air which results in an uncharacteristically warm ind during winter.

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