Wind is becoming increasingly important as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, but which places in Spain have the strongest winds?
There is no place on earth where there is never wind. It is true that the winds are generally weaker or less frequent in some places, such as the dead calm areas of the oceans near the equator or in very deep and sheltered valleys. But sooner or later the wind comes to these places too.
The speed and direction of the wind in a region or geographical point depend on a combination of factors, both on a planetary and local scale. Wind occurs due to differences in atmospheric pressure as air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure in search of equilibrium.
Differences in pressure, in turn, can be caused by differences in temperature, for example between the top of a mountain and the valley or between land and sea. If you have mountains or seas nearby, it is very likely that you are in a windy area.
In addition, the Coriolis effect due to the Earth’s rotation causes the winds to deviate to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This effect is responsible for the general circulation patterns of the atmosphere, such as the trade winds. Ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic can influence the temperatures and therefore the air pressure of the surrounding regions, thereby affecting wind patterns.
The wind in Spain
Spain is a peninsula that, due to its geographical location, is exposed to different wind currents. These currents, combined with the geographical diversity of the peninsula, create a variety of areas of high wind. It is not for nothing that there are numerous proverbs in Spanish that refer to the wind: “The wind flies a lot, but the thought flies more.” “He who sows winds reaps storms.” “Without wind you cannot expect good weather.”
Here are some of the windiest places in Spain:
This city in the province of Cadiz is known as the “European Wind Capital”. The confluence of the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean generates strong winds, particularly from the Levant and the West, making it a paradise for sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. Wind speeds can vary significantly depending on conditions, but sustained speeds of 20-30 km/h are common, with gusts often exceeding 40-50 km/h, particularly during strong wind episodes.
Photo: Antonio for Flickr
The canary islands
The islands, especially Gran Canaria and Tenerife, are known for their trade winds that come from the northeast. Typical speeds vary, but are usually between 15 and 25 km/h.
Photo: The Snapshot Collector for Flickr
This region of northwestern Spain, with its extensive Atlantic coastline, is known for receiving strong winds from the Atlantic, particularly in areas such as the Costa da Morte. Wind speeds can vary, but sustained speeds of 20-30 km/h are common, with gusts that can exceed 60 km/h in storms.
The Ebro Delta (Tarragona)
Constant winds prevail in this area, especially the Garbí and the Mestral. These winds may have sustained speeds of 20-30 km/h, with gusts that may exceed 50-60 km/h.
This vast region of Spain, which includes parts of Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha and the Community of Madrid, is dominated by seasonal winds such as the Cierzo, which blows from the northwest. Wind speeds can vary widely, but gusts of 15-25 km/h are common, although gusts can be significantly higher in stormy conditions.
El Maestrazgo (Castellón and Teruel)
Winds blow constantly in this mountainous region, especially the Mestral. Stronger winds may occur in mountainous areas, particularly on exposed peaks and slopes. These areas may experience gusts in excess of 40-50 km/h, particularly during storms or frontal gusts.
Photo: Angela Llop for Flickr
Data on the intensity and frequency of wind in these areas can be obtained from official institutions such as the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE). Areas with high wind potential are the subject of interest for the installation of wind farms, given the growing demand for renewable energy sources in Spain.
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