Difference Between Gust and Wind

Gust vs Wind

Listening to the weather report of an area can be interesting at times. However, weathermen make use of some terms to make their report interesting while describing the weather events that can confuse those who are not aware of them. One such term is gust that is used in place of wind at times to indicate a sudden burst of high speed wind. This article attempts to highlight the differences between gust and wind.


Movement of air at a place is called wind movement. The flow of air or breeze that one can feel from one direction to another is called wind. Wind finds special mention in the weather forecast to let people know about their speed and direction. Windy weather can be troublesome for people on the road and many accidents are reported when there is sudden wind flow at a high speed. Meteorologists are often more interested in strengths of winds rather than their direction, and the use of terms such as breeze, gale, typhoon, storm, hurricane, gust etc. are enough to convey the nature and effect of winds.


Whenever there is a short burst of strong wind, it is referred to as gust. Meteorologists refrain from making use of the word gust until the winds have attained a very high speed of at least 16 knots. Another thing to note is that the difference in speed when the wind is blowing at its peak and when there is lull is at least 9 knots. Though the sudden burst of wind is the main requirement, the duration of such a burst is a minimum of 20 seconds.

Gust vs Wind

• When a weatherman talks about gust, do not be surprised as he is merely reporting the occurrence of a strong wind and nothing else. Thus, a gust is a type of wind.

• While a wind can take no many different forms depending upon its strength or the speed, a gust is a sudden burst of high speed wind.

• The word gust is used by the weatherman only when the speed of the wind suddenly goes up to 16 knots.

• The important thing to remember is that the duration of high speed wind in the case of a gust is small, and even a 20 second duration is enough to label the event as a gust.