Friction is a force. It is a force that slows motion and dampens energy. When wind blows through a tree the tree impedes the wind flow. This causes the wind to slow down. Friction releases some of the energy. This release can be in the form of noise, vibration, and energy transfer. When the wind hits the tree you can hear the noise of the wind blowing through the leaves and branches and you can see the movement of the leaves and branches. Some of the energy the wind had is transferred into moving the tree.

Friction can also transfer energy into heat energy. If you rub your hands together you will notice that the skin on your hands warms up. Some of the energy of motion in your hands is transferred to heat energy through the friction process.

When you bounce a ball on the ground you will notice that after each bounce the ball does not rise as high as it did on the previous bounce. Eventually the ball comes to a halt. It is friction with the ground each time the ball hits the ground that dampens the energy the ball had. Each time the ball hits the ground there is noise, vibration and energy transfer into the floor that takes energy from the ball.

In meteorology friction is important because it causes the wind speeds at the surface to be less and more turbulent than they otherwise would be. Rough terrain is more effective in decreasing the wind speed than a water surface. Friction processes can help promote surface convergence and uplift.

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