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Zonda wind


Zonda wind is a regional term for the foehn wind that often occurs on the eastern slope of the Andes, in Argentina. The Zonda is a dry wind (often carrying dust) which comes from the polar maritime air, warmed by descent from the crest, which is some 6,000 m above sea level. It may exceed a velocity of 40 km/h (25 mph).

While this type of fohn wind may occur over most central parts of western Argentina, its effects are more impressive in La Rioja, San Juan, and northern Mendoza provinces, because the mountain barrier (the Andes) is higher, while to the north the Puna plateau dissipates these winds.

The Zonda wind is basically produced by the northeastward movement of polar fronts, and although is hot and dry at the low-lands, it is the main mechanism for snow precipitation at the high altitude chains, where it looks as viento blanco, reaching speeds sometimes over 200 km/h. Thus, instead of being a snow-eater, this wind is particularly important for this arid region, as it is connected to the buildup of the winter snow cover and accumulation over the scarce local glaciers.

According to studies (conducted over the period 19671976), the Zonda wind most commonly starts during the afternoon (between 12 and 6 PM), and tends to last between 1 and 12 hours, though it may present itself intermitently for as long as 2 or 3 days. It is countered usually by the entrance of cold air masses moving northwestward (viento sur). In 90% of the cases, the phenomenon takes place between May and November.

Alternative usage

The term zonda also describes a hot, humid north wind in the Pampas, in advance of a depression moving eastwards, and preceding the pampero. This wind is also called the sondo.

See also

Zonda Department, a department of the province of San Juan, Argentina.

Pagani Zonda, a sports car which takes its name from the wind.

Puelche wind

Autodromo El Zonda - Eduardo Copello, a race track located in San Juan, Argentina.

References

MeteoBlogs Viento Zonda. National Meteorological Service, Air Regions Command, Argentine Air Force.

"The land where blows el Zonda". Article.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Zonda wind


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