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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mediterranean Winds

A crossword puzzle clue recently led me to learn that "Sirocco" is the name given to an occasional wind that blows from Northern Africa, across the Mediterranean, toward Europe. It is a southeasterly wind, meaning it blows from the southeast. Geographers name winds according to the from direction, because this usually indicates something about the air it brings -- warm or cool, wet or dry.

We do not often link to Wikipedia articles, but the Sirocco entry is an example of an especially good use of a hyperlinked encyclopedia. The article describes the effects of the wind and lists its name in several languages, according to the places it occurs. It also links to similar articles about the other recurring winds of the region, and to an alphabetical listing of articles about local winds throughout the world.

Note to teachers: This could be a lesson plan that practically writes itself!

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