The Mountain Wind Of Pakistan

The mountain wind is a high density cold wind that blows from mountain tops in the direction of the valleys making the nights at the valley stations quite cold.

The phenomenon

The sky at the mountains tops is usually very clear and due to this clean atmosphere, the mountain tops cool very rapidly as the heat is radiated again to the ecosystem at a totally high rate. The result is that the mountain slopes grow to be much cooler than the encircling air. The air in touch with the slopes becomes cooler too. As it cools, it will become dense and heavy because density is inversely proportional to the temperature. Now if it were a simple place, this cool dense wind would have sinked to the decrease level, near the ground, until morning but as in our case it is a mountain slope, so under the motion of pressure of gravity it slides down the mountain slopes closer to the deep valley underneath and forces the temperature there to grow to be pretty cool. The velocity of the wind relies upon upon the gradient of the slope and the temperature on the source vicinity. It is commonly in the range of five-10 knots. Because it falls from the mountain top closer to the valley it is also known as fall wind. Another name for this wind is katabatic wind.


Clear sky devoid of any clouds, very little wind at the mountain top and occasional relative humidity are the top requirements for the mountain or fall wind to set in. Clouds and rains etc. Disturb this phenomenon severely.

The effect and case of gilgit

The station of gilgit is a low valley situated at about 4500 ft. Above mean sea degree inside the northern areas of pakistan. It's miles surrounded by very high mountains with heights 15000 ft or greater. The vicinity is generally dry with little or no rainfall. The sky above the mountains stays clear with very low relative humidity especially in the summer time months of july and august. This makes this station a great case for the mountain wind to exert its effect.

In overdue july to early august, it so takes place that gilgit will become intensely warm at some point of the day-being out of sphere of monsoon, the air is dry so receives heated up fast and with the aid of mid-afternoon, the temperatures can reach as high as one hundred ten f. The encircling mountains tops, however, continue to be 40- 50 f cooler all through the day. At some stage in night time, due to clean ecosystem on the mountains, the temperatures begin falling rapidly and reach around 50 f. As defined above, the air alongside the slopes turns into very cool and starts sliding toward the gilgit valley and is best simply before dawn while they can make the minimum temperature of gilgit as low as 60 f. So the temperature of gilgit falls from a high of a hundred and ten f to a low of 60 f -a fall of 50 f in 24 hours! That is all because of katabatic wind. This happens typically from late july to mid-august. If we examine the climate of gilgit carefully, the moment western disturbance arrives on this region with its clouds, rain and strong winds, the high of gilgit turns into 95 f and low rises to 75 f that is a clear indication that the mountain wind effect is disturbed.

In brief, mountain or katabatic wind is a groovy dense wind which could dramatically alternate the temperature of the area it influences.


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