What causes winds? Winds are caused by differences in air pressure. They move from areas of high pressure to low pressure. Differences in air pressure are caused by unequal heating of the atmosphere. Cool air has higher air pressure so it flows underneath the warm, less dense air. A wind vane measures wind direction. The name tells where the wind is coming from. i.e. – north wind blows from the north to the south. An anemometer measures wind speed. The wind-chill factor is the increased cooling that a wind can bring. Winds that blow over short distances and are caused by unequal heating of Earth’s surface within a small area. Sea and land breezes over a large region that change direction with the season.