It’s a bit breezy today, with winds up to thirty mph and possible gusts up to 60 mph. Surprisingly, despite the high-speed air movement (and if we don’t take into consideration any potential gusts), we are well within the “breeze” category.
Winds with speeds of 4 to 31 miles per hour are considered to be breezes, so a thirty-mile an hour wind, even if it comes with a high wind warning, is still considered a breeze. I always thought the term “gentle breeze” was redundant, but apparently not. What I considered to be a gentle breeze — anything less than winds of 4 miles per hour — is not even a breeze. It’s just light air movement. A gentle breeze is a wind with a speed of 8 to 12 miles per hour. A fresh breeze is a wind with a speed of 19 to 24 miles per hour. A strong breeze is a wind with a speed of 24 to 31 miles per hour. A gale is a wind with a wind speed of 32 to 63 miles per hour. My dictionary defines a gale as a strong current of air. Who knew Webster had such a sense of understatement! (In case you’re interested, a storm is stronger than a gale, and a hurricane strongest of all.)
I understand how important wind is — without wind, there would be no seed dispersal, no pollination, no long-awaited rain in dry regions. There would be few livable climates on the earth since winds help diffuse the air and moisture, making more of the earth habitable. Without wind, the ocean currents would die down. Entire ecosystems would disappear. Weather extremes would be huge, either intensely hot or penetratingly cold, either totally arid or mainly rainy.
Despite my knowing the importance of wind, wind is still my least favorite weather. It makes every other type of weather, be it snow or rain, sleet or heat, so difficult. Besides which, it’s dangerous, causing damage to people, animals, and property. Although I love trees, I am glad there are no trees nearby to cause potential damage. A tree limb fell straight down during a windstorm where Jeff and I lived, and the crash, just outside my bedroom window, sounded like an explosion. Felt like one, too. A couple of feet closer, and that would have been the end of me, so I am especially leery of trees in the wind. (A neighbor has a tree with a creaking branch, so I had a tree guy come and look at it to make sure that if it fell, it would be nowhere near me or my house.)
With any luck, later today the wind will finish its job — moving air around — and it will be calmer tomorrow. My frazzled nerves can use the rest.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.