The mistral is a strong, cold and northwesterly wind that blows from southern France into the Gulf of Lion in the northern Mediterranean, with sustained winds often exceeding forty kilometers an hour, and sometimes reaching one hundred kilometers an hour. Nor'wester has been used to describe several different types of wind. A Foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range. Chinook winds commonly refers to foehn winds in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest. Along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, the Chinook wind provides a welcome respite from the long winter chill. Few people spend very much time along the eastern slopes without experiencing these wonderful warm winds. The change can be dramatic. On Jan. 11, 1983, the temperature in Calgary rose 30°C (from -17°C to 13°C) in 4 hours, and on February 7, 1964, the temperature rose 28°C (51°F°), and the humidity dropped by 43 percent.
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