Lets talk winds! Ever wondered where those funny names come from?
Many of us have heard of the Santa Ana’s, Chinook Winds and even the weather system called Alberta Clipper, right? But where did the names originate? In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing.
For example, there are the Williwaw winds and cold winds that blow off the mountainous coasts into the oceans, as occurs in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Or there are the Squwamish winds which are strong and even violent winds in many of the fjords of British Columbia. They are typically oriented in a northeast to southwest or east-west direction where extremely frigid air is funneled in.
But what about our east winds that come from the Gorge? In the summer they are hot and dry and in the winter they are bitterly cold. Well, we actually do have a name for them, but it’s not used too frequently.
Here is the rundown. Several years back The Oregonian and the Oregon Chapter of the AMS ( American Meteorological Society) held a contest called “Name Our East Wind” and the winner was named “Coho,” but don’t fret if you don’t hear that name too often because it really didn’t catch on too well.
Today it is mainly referred to the “east” wind or the “Gorge” wind.