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Winds, Storms and Cyclones Class 7 Notes Science

Winds, Storms and Cyclones - Chapter Notes

Air Pressure

The pressure exerted by air on all bodies at all times in all directions is called air pressure.

Air Pressure

The pressure exerted by air on all bodies at all times in all directions is called air pressure. When air moves at high speeds, it creates a low pressure area. The air inside a balloon exerts pressure in all directions, and makes it blow up. Air opposes the motion of a moving object. This is called air resistance. That is why you have to exert yourself and pedal hard when you ride a bicycle. Another example in which air pressure can be observed: Take a glass and fill only 1/3 of it with water. Cover the mouth of the glass with an index card. Now hold the card in place and invert the glass over a sink and remove your hand from the card. The card sticks to the glass. This is due to air pressure. The air outside exerts an upward pressure on the index card. This air pressure is more than the weight of the water in the glass.

Winds

Winds are caused by variations in air pressure. A wind blows from a region of high pressure to a region of low pressure. The speed of the wind mainly depends on the difference between the pressures of the air in the two regions.
High speed winds are known to blow away thatched and tiled roofs in rural and semi-urban areas. Strong winds can uproot trees and electric poles, and even snap cables.

Winds, Storms and Cyclones Class 7 Notes Science

Anemometer

The instrument used to measure the speed of wind is called the anemometer. It is usually fixed on the top of a building.

Winds

Air expands on heating,and the expanded air pushes for more space.

Air expands on heating, and the expanded air pushes for more space.

For example:
1) Take two deep pans - one filled with hot water and the other with cold water. To prove that air expands when heated,
Stretch a balloon across the mouth of a milk bottle and seal it with tape.
Keep this bottle in the hot water pan
The balloon is slowly inflated. This is because the heat from the hot water in the pan heats up the air inside the bottle, which makes the air inside the bottle expand.
Now place the bottle in the pan with cold water. The balloon deflates and shrinks. This is because the air inside the bottle gets cooled and so contracts.
2) Observe a pressure cooker where the steam comes out of the nozzle and escapes upwards. This is because steam escaping from a pressure cooker is lighter than the relative cool air surrounding it. Thus, hot air rises.

Question for Chapter Notes: Winds, Storms & Cyclones
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What is the purpose of an anemometer?
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Circulation of Wind

The equatorial and tropical regions get hotter than the polar regions. The warm air at the equator rises, and the cold air moves in from the polar regions. The air moves due to uneven heating of the earth's surface between the equator and poles, which results in circulation of wind across the globe.

Direction of Wind

Winds are also formed due to uneven heating of land and water in coastal areas. As the earth rotates on its axis from west to east, these wind currents are not exact. There is a difference in the temperatures of the air over sea and over land. Cold winds from the South Pole move north towards the equator, and whereas winds from the North Pole move south towards the equator.

Monsoon Winds

The word monsoon is derived from the Arabic word "mausam," which means season. The winds from the ocean carry water in the form of vapours, resulting rains over land. These are called monsoon winds.
Thunderstorms and Cyclones

Winds, Storms and Cyclones Class 7 Notes Science

A storm with lightning and thunder is called a thunderstorm. It occurs due to the convection of air in hot and humid areas.

Thunderstorms

A storm with lightning and thunder is called a thunderstorm. It occurs due to the convection of air in hot and humid areas.

Cyclone

A natural calamity caused by difference in air pressure in the atmosphere is called a cyclone. A cyclone is a violently rotating windstorm. Cyclones are dangerous. Cyclones begin as thunderstorms.
In tropical regions like India, thunderstorms are common, but very few thunderstorms convert into cyclones. In India, the eastern coast is more vulnerable to cyclones than the western coast.
In different parts of the world, cyclones are known differently. For example, in America, a cyclone is referred to as a hurricane, while the Filipinos and Japanese called it a typhoon.
The largest tropical cyclone recorded was Typhoon Tip that struck Japan in 1979. At its peak strength, the diameter of its eye wall was 2220 kilometres. The wind speeds were recorded at 305 kilometres per hour.
Formation of Cyclones

The formation of a cyclone depends on the speed and direction of the wind, temperature and humidity. 

A cyclone also arises:

  • Due to the difference in the temperatures of the two regions.
  • A low pressure is created as the air in the high temperature region becomes warm and rises.
  • The gap in the low pressure area is filled by cold air rushing in from the surrounding areas.
  • When the warm air arises, it cools, condenses and forms clouds.
  • When the water vapour in the clouds turns into raindrops, the heat possessed by the water vapour is released into the atmosphere.
  • The process repeats and the release of heat from the water vapour continues.

Precautions

During a thunderstorm, move away from open garages, metal sheds and water bodies. During a thunderstorm, sit inside a car, a bus or a closed vehicle, or inside a building.

During a thunderstorm, do not:

  • Rest under a tree
  • Take shelter under an umbrella with a metallic end
  • Lie down flat, if in an open place
  • Sit near a window

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. As the humidity in a region increases, the difference in temperature also increases. This results in the formation of a cyclone.

Gales

Winds moving at high speeds are known as gales.

Eye of a Cyclone

The calm and clear area at the centre of a cyclone is called the eye of the cyclone.

Tornado

A rotating column of high speed winds that appears as a dark funnel-shaped cloud reaching from the ground to the sky is called a tornado. A tornado may form within a cyclone. A tornado forms due to the effect of low pressure in the eye of a cyclone. Objects near the base of a tornado, such as cars, dust, debris and even houses, are sucked into its funnel and thrown out at the top.
More than a thousand tornadoes occur every year across the world. Most occur in the United States. Tornadoes occur regularly in the regions around the Atlantic Ocean. Weak tornadoes travel with wind speeds of 50 to 60 km/hr, while a violent tornado can travel at a speed of about 400 km/hr. A tornado is a natural disaster, but not as dangerous as a cyclone.

Protection from Cyclones

Winds, Storms and Cyclones Class 7 Notes Science

Cyclones cause a lot of damage to land, people and property, and create a lot of havoc in the lives of the people.
Cyclones cause a lot of damage to land, people and property, and create a lot of havoc in the lives of the people. When a cyclone hits an agricultural field, it makes the land infertile and useless for agriculture. A cyclone spares nothing. It worsens the flood situation. There are indirect impacts of a cyclone as well, such as flooding in coastal areas. Flooding not only damages land, but also pollutes drinking water sources. This can cause epidemics. High waves several kilometres away from the shore indicate an upcoming storm. As a cyclone strikes the coast, the intense winds raise the water into a gigantic wave that is pushed towards the shore. High-speed winds during a cyclone can cause major damage to houses, human beings, animals, trees, power supply, and even communication systems such as telephones.

Question for Chapter Notes: Winds, Storms & Cyclones
Try yourself:
What causes the formation of cyclones?
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Storm Surge

A high wall of water moving towards the shore from the ocean is called a storm surge.

Storm Tide

The combination of a storm surge and a tide is known as a "storm tide". The most dangerous storms are the ones where the storm surge arrives on the top of a high tide, and then the storm reaches an area that might otherwise have been safe.

Meteorological Department

The department that carries out a scientific study of the atmosphere and focuses on weather forecasting and processes. Tropical cyclones are given names. The names are selected from a list decided by the national meteorological organisation of a country, or by a committee of the World Meteorological Organisation. The names of tropical cyclones that cause major death or destruction are not used again, as a tribute to the people who lose their lives in the disaster.
Cyclone Alert

A warning issued 48 hours before the expected time of a cyclone.

Cyclone Warning

A warning issued 24 hours before the expected time of a cyclone.

A cyclone causes destruction through:

  • High-rise waves
  • High-speed winds that uproot trees, houses and other property
  • Contamination of drinking water
  • Heavy rainfall that worsens the flood situation
  • Flooding of agricultural land by sea water making it infertile

Safety measures taken by the government:

To keep people safe and secure during a cyclone, the government takes certain measures, such as:

  • Constructing cyclone warning centres
  • Making arrangements to relocate people during cyclones
  • Providing information about a cyclone, and warning people, fishermen, ships, ports, airlines and various government agencies
  • Delivering accurate and effective cyclone forecasts and warnings

Safety measures to follow before and during a cyclone:

  • Do not move out unless and until required.
  • Keep a note of all the warnings given by the Meteorological Department.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers of police, ambulance and fire brigade handy.
  • Move people and valuable items to a safe place.
  • Store hygienic drinking water.
  • Help neighbours.
  • Avoid contact with wet electric lines and switches.
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FAQs on Winds, Storms and Cyclones Class 7 Notes Science

1. What causes a cyclone?
Ans. Cyclones are caused by a combination of factors such as warm ocean water, moisture, and converging winds. When warm moist air rises over the ocean, it creates an area of low pressure. Converging winds rush in to fill the space, which causes the storm to spin and gain strength.
2. How are winds measured during a storm?
Ans. Winds are measured during a storm using an instrument called an anemometer. An anemometer has cups that spin when wind blows against them. The speed of the wind is measured by counting how many times the cups spin in a given amount of time.
3. What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?
Ans. Hurricanes and typhoons are both powerful storms that form over warm ocean waters. The only difference is their location. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, while typhoons form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
4. How can we stay safe during a storm?
Ans. To stay safe during a storm, it is important to stay indoors and away from windows. If you are outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building or car. Avoid using electrical appliances and corded phones during a storm, and do not take a bath or shower. If flooding occurs, move to higher ground and do not attempt to drive through standing water.
5. What is the difference between a thunderstorm and a tornado?
Ans. A thunderstorm is a storm that produces lightning and thunder, while a tornado is a violent spinning column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes are much more powerful than thunderstorms and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
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