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East wind blows no good!

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 28, 2004

In Reply to: East wind blows no good! posted by Smokey Stover on January 27, 2004

: : : An old saying from an old sailor, but what is its origin?

: : In England, the prevailing west winds bring rain from the Atlantic. In winter, an east wind blowing from Northern Europe is always cold and often brings sleet and snow. It also brings storms to the east coast, threatening the fishing communities that huddle in whatever shelter they can find in the north of their bays. Nobody likes the east wind.

: In the U.S., as in England, the West Wind is regarded as a friend, even if it sometimes brings the cold winter winds mistakenly called "the Alberta clipper." (The frigid air referred to thus usually originates in Siberia.) The east wind heralds stormy weather, especially on the east coast where it is normally felt. In New England and New York a "nor'easter" was bound to be particularly nasty. Of course, we don't get our east winds from northern Europe, but rather from a reversal of the normal anti-cyclonic movement of air to a cyclonic movement, caused by changes in air pressure, heating patterns, the path of the jet stream, and only a meteorologist knows what else. Nobody likes the east wind (except the afternoon sea breeze along the east coast, which has a cooling effect on hot days). SS

Blinded by parochialism and geographical insularity (I live in the Northeastern U.S.), I failed to point out the many storms hitting the east coast of the U.S. that originated in storms in the Atlantic Ocean, especially tropical storms, which cause a lot of havoc if and when they hit our eastern (and southern) shores, especially if they have reached hurricane force. Even the northeast is sometimes battered by these storms, hurricane Donna being a prime example. SS