Local Winds – Cold Winds, Hot Winds, Local Winds of the World UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Local winds refer to the air movement caused by high and low-pressure systems within defined areas. There are different types of local winds, majorly categorised as hot winds and cold winds. Within these major categories, there are also sub-categories based on nature, such as moist and dry. Each type of local wind is specific to certain areas and has unique characteristics defining their behavior and patterns.

Local winds are significant to the climate of a place. They impact the climate and weather changes in their respective regions, which make them an inherently crucial part of a place’s geography. Understanding different types of local winds and their causes is also important from the UPSC exam perspective. The candidates can check the local winds PDF provided below to develop an enhanced understanding of the different types of winds and their characteristics.

What are Local Winds?

Different regions on Earth experience different types of atmospheres. These result in local winds that blow in a definite pattern in certain atmospheric conditions over certain regions.

The main causes of the local winds across the world take into account various geographical factors such as mountains, water bodies, etc. The local geography of a region impacts them and, in turn, also impacts the weather and climate of that region.

List of Local Winds UPSC PDF

Local winds often blow in a certain direction for a certain period of time. They have a pattern that is repeated over a set amount of time. As they are specific to regions, they are divided into five types that are trade winds, southwest winds, southeast winds, northeast winds, and northwest winds. They are also divided on the basis of their nature, which is dry and cold.

What Causes Local Winds?

Local Winds are also known as Tertiary Winds. These types of winds are created because of the temperature differences between two spots on Earth that are adjacent to each other and have a space large between them that causes wind.

  • As the earth rotates and revolves around the sun, the land of different continents tends to get warm or cold at a rate that differs from that of the oceans.
  • This difference in temperatures of ocean and land causes local winds. The earth’s rotation often determines the speed of the winds.
  • On the other hand, the pattern and direction of local winds can often be predicted based on where the two points causing the winds are located.

Local Winds of the World

Different regions of the earth experience different types of local winds that are different in nature. Understanding this is often also helpful in ascertaining the climatic conditions of various regions. Hence, we have provided the list of local winds in the table below to provide information about various types of winds along with their nature and location.

List of Local Winds of the World
Name of the Local Winds Nature Location
Santa Ana Hot South California
Norwester Local Wind New Zealand
Chinook Winds (Snow eaters)  

Hot and Dry

The Rockies mountains
Foehn The Alps
Harmattan Wind (Guinea Doctor) West Africa
Khamsin Egypt
Siroco Hot and moist Sahara to the Mediterranean Sea
Solano Sahara to the Iberian Peninsula


The Alps and France
Blizzard Local Wind Tundra region
Purga Russia
Levanter Spain
Bora Cold and Dry Blows from Hungary to North Italy
Punas The western side of Andes Mountain
Karaburun (black storm) Hot and Dusty Central Asia
Calima Dust-laden and Dry Saharan Air Layer in Canary Islands
Elephanta Moist wind Malabar coast (During Monsoon)

Cold Winds

Cold winds are the types of winds that rise near the Earth’s surface. They are not known to be very frequent and are weaker than the hot winds. Cold local winds are dangerous for the environment as they often cause air pollution. They are known to blow air pollutants and sand into the regions in which they blow, causing breathing issues to the inhabitants.

Cold local winds rise from the ground and have a colder temperature. In the areas with lower atmospheres, they cause rain and frosting. Mistral, Purga, Blizzard, Boras, and Punas are some examples of cold winds that are known to cause low temperatures and cold weather in the regions in which they blow.

List of Cold Local Winds

During the winter, the local chilly winds flow down the slopes and into the valleys from the snow-covered mountains. They go by several names depending on where they flow.

  • Pampero
  • Gregale
  • Bora
  • Tramontane
  • Mistral

Hot Local Winds

Hot winds are produced when the ground surface gets heated. These types of winds are known to have a warm and dusty quality, often signifying dry weather in the regions they blow in. Hot local winds cause high temperatures and, in extreme conditions, can cause various health issues as they carry dust with them, which often causes breathing problems in humans as they inhale those particles.

The most common and harmful type of hot local wind is Loo, it is known to cause fevers and other health issues. Some other hot local winds, such as Chinook, are also known to help melt the ice as they blow. The other types of hot winds include Santa Ana, Foehn, Khamsin, Harmattan, etc.

Local Winds UPSC

It is crucial that candidates preparing for UPSC know the different types of wind and their locations. Geography is often considered a scoring subject, and the local wind is an important topic within it.

Hot and cold winds are important topics often asked in the exam. Hence, to ensure candidates know all about the different local winds of the world and their causes, candidates can refer to this article. The local winds UPSC notes are concise and provide an in-depth understanding of important concepts crucial from an examination point of view.

Local Winds UPSC Questions

Practicing the questions on local winds holds immense essentiality. The questions practiced in an apt way assist the candidates in optimizing their efforts in an accurate manner. Check here the questions pertaining to the local winds UPSC to be able to gain a complete understanding of the concepts. Also, these questions will help you in tracking the level of your preparation.

Question: Which of the following cannot be categorized as the hot wind? [a]Foehn [b] Sirocco [c] Chinook [d] Williwaw

Answer: [d] Williwaw

Question: Which wind amongst the following flows in Switzerland? [a] Chinook [b] Berg [c] Foehn [d] None of the above

Answer: [a] Foehn

Question: Which wind is also renowned as Doctor Pawan? [a] Brick Fielder [b] Black Roller [c] Harmattan [d] None of the Above

Answer: [c] Harmattan

Question: Papagayo wind flows in which country? [a] Mexico [b] Sudan [c] Iran [d] Brazil

Answer: [a] Mexico

UPSC Notes
Watershed Management Principles of Natural Justice
Regionalism Drainage Pattern
Extremist Phase King Harshavardhana
Continental Drift Theory Woods Dispatch 1854
44th Amendment of Indian Constitution Judicial Review
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