The abundance of wind in Minnesota makes it an ideal region for wind energy. Only Texas, Iowa, California, Oregon and Washington have more wind power capacity than Minnesota.
What Causes Wind?
Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. Variation in air temperature results in differences in air pressure. Wind forms as air flows from high-pressure to low-pressure areas. The greater the difference in air pressure, the faster the wind speed. The proximity of high-pressure and low-pressure areas also affects wind speed. When the areas of high and low pressure are close, the greater the wind speed.
A wind map shows wind direction and wind speed for a region. The lines and arrows show wind direction and the numbers indicate wind speeds in miles per hour.
Click here to see the current wind map for Minnesota and the surrounding region.