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Limit of Wind speed

  1. Dec 3, 2015 #1
    Besides solar wind, what is the limit of a natural wind on planets? I know it's based on rotation and atmospheric pressure differences, but is there an upper limit to how fast wind can get on a planetary scale?

    I would imagine that the speed of sound would justify a limit, but that doesn't make sense to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2015 #2


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    I remember reading that there are wind speeds in our solar system that are 5 times the speed of sound on Earth, so no, I'd say that's not a limit.
  4. Dec 3, 2015 #3


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    Solar wind is VERY fast ... at the time of typing this it is ....

    Solar wind

    speed: 369.9 km/sec

    It can often exceed 1000 km/s with rare peaks to 3000km/s

    do some googling on jet streams on earth and wind speeds on Jupiter ... some respectable numbers

  5. Dec 3, 2015 #4


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    Oh, I was talking about winds on planets, since that's what the question was about.
  6. Dec 4, 2015 #5

    jim mcnamara

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  7. Dec 4, 2015 #6
    A good example of wind speed limitation here on Earth is that hurricanes and other cyclones always disintegrate rapidly when they encounter land masses.
    A land mass cannot supply energy to the storm system to keep it going as a warm ocean does, and things like forests and mountain ranges are quite effective at draining away the energy which already is accumulated.
  8. Dec 4, 2015 #7
    There is a limit on the angular velocity of any planets after which it would break up or become ovoid. That would limit the wind speed.

    How about wind on a neutron star with equatorial velocity of c/10? Neutron stars have atmospheres of carbon gas. Though only a few inches thick, I don't see why there couldn't be wind.

    The speed of sound would have nothing to do with it, since wind is molecules moving together, not oscillating.
  9. Dec 10, 2015 #8
    Thanks for the responses everyone. After looking at some examples, there definitely doesn't appear to be a limit (other then the speed of light of course xd).
  10. Dec 15, 2015 #9
    Contact report 564

    And when will this be? These cyclones have indeed according to occurrences also different names
    The disaster has already, in fact, started and develops itself in the following days into a catastrophe. But what now has arisen is only the beginning of still worse to come, because now storms of all kinds and cyclones will rapidly increase in numbers, and indeed worldwide. So in the near future, a devastating storm will also strike Sardinia, while a series of tornadoes will bring disaster to the USA. And regarding the various names of the cyclones is to say, that these form in the late summer over tropical oceans, as air vortices with mighty winds, with the tropical cyclones being the most dangerous and have reached up to now speeds of more than 270 kilometres per hour (167 miles per hour). Through these powerful storms always enormous destructions occur, and many human lives will be demanded. These up to now highest storm strengths increase in the future however, consequently the worst to be expected may exhibit 400 kilometres per hour (249 miles per hour) wind speeds. And as you say, the cyclones have different names according to place and countries. In the Caribbean as well as in the West Indian islands and the Gulf of Mexico they are called hurricanes, compared to typhoons in China and Japan. They are called Willy-Willy in Australia and cyclones in the Indian Ocean. Then still there are the cyclones over the mainland, which occur worldwide and are called tornadoes.
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