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WEATHER U: Mother Nature is just whistling in the wind

Atlantic Canadians are no strangers to wind.  It can offer relief from the sweltering summer heat, cause whiteout conditions in the winter and send waves crashing onshore, but did you ever stop to listen to it?   I’m sure there was quite a roar last Saturday when Lynn Winfield snapped this photo at Sandy Point near Shelburne, N.S.
Atlantic Canadians are no strangers to wind. It can offer relief from the sweltering summer heat, causing whiteout conditions in the winter and send waves crashing onshore, but did you ever stop to listen to it? I’m sure there was quite a roar last Saturday when Lynn Winfield snapped this photo at Sandy Point near Shelburne, N.S. - Contributed

Last weekend, most Atlantic Canadians got to feel the wind, but how many of you took a moment to listen to it? Depending on the rush of the wind and the shape of what it’s rushing over, the wind can moan, scream or sing.

Sound originates as a vibrating object, whether it’s a violin string, vocal cords or a flag on a pole. The sound is carried to you by oscillating air molecules and pressure waves, which in turn set your eardrum vibrating. These vibrations move through the air and make your eardrums vibrate at frequencies that your brain can breakdown into particular sounds.

Trees, for example, are natural instruments for the wind to play. As the wind passes through and around their branches and leaves, these move back and forth, creating vibrations in the air, known as longitudinal pressure waves. The faster an object vibrates, the higher the pitch will be.

When you think of the wind passing by all sorts of objects on the face of the Earth, there’s no limit to the Aeolian sounds it can create. The next time you’re outside on a windy day, take some time to listen closely to the magical sounds the wind makes.


Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.


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