Wind Direction Meters

It's important to understand the key role wind direction and wind speed play in making a weather forecast. Movement of air currents can signal clear skies so you can plan chores requiring a prolonged dry spell, as well as signal approaching storms. A home-based meter can provide you with this important information.

How can wind speed and direction be measured at home?

If you're a hobbyist, you have access to tools that can help you identify weather trends that you're currently experiencing or can expect soon. While a weathervane or wind sock provides a very general idea of the wind's direction, a sensor as part of a home weather station gives you more specific information. It can also help you better determine approaching changes. A home station also provides current temperature and humidity readings as well as pressure changes. Both of these are essential prediction elements.

A handheld wind sensor is also a good tool to have on hand when you're hiking, biking, or camping outdoors. Handheld meters can be as sophisticated as many of the top-of-the-line home stations, or they can provide basic measurements of temperature, wind direction, and wind speed. If you're a home hobbyist, a wind speed meter that also measures the area from which it is coming is a useful tool.

Why is it important to know the wind's direction?

The location from which breezes or gales come plays a vital role in helping meteorologists analyze current conditions. It also helps them make predictions about upcoming changes. The direction indicates the type of atmospheric changes that can be expected in your area up to 24 hours in advance. It's dependent on the local terrain and the hemisphere in which it's blowing. In general, Northern Hemisphere breezes coming from the west indicate clear weather, while eastern or northeastern gales often bring rain or snow with high winds.

Why is it important to know wind speed?

Speed is just as important in forecasting as the source of the breezes are. When inclement conditions are located 150 miles from your home and the wind is blowing at 15 miles an hour, you can expect to see a storm in about 10 hours. Planning for changes is much easier when you understand these concepts.

What is used to measure the wind's direction?

An anemometer is an instrument that primarily measures wind speed but can also be used to indicate where breezes are coming from. Similar sensors can include a weathervane or wind sock. An anemometer or other wind measurement sensor is typically mounted about 30 feet high to catch the wind without obstructions.

What do wind direction abbreviations mean?

Wind orientation correlates to the points on a compass. It is identified according to the four main compass directions: north, south, east, and west. They are then further divided to provide more accuracy in forecasting. A notation of WNW, for example, means that the wind is blowing from the west northwest. In North America, that typically means clear and sunny skies can be expected.