Why are wind speed and direction important for understanding changing weather?

1 Answer
Jan 24, 2017

Two reasons.


The first reason is it is if you know the wind speed and direction you will know what direction the weather is coming from and how fast it is moving. For example, if it is raining at a town 80 nautical miles (wind is measured in knots official) to the west of a second town, and the radar returns show that the precipitation is moving to the east at a speed of 20 kts, a relatively accurate prediction for the second town is that in 4 hours time it will be raining.

More importantly, wind direction and speed helps to plot the atmospheric pressure. The Buy Ballot law states that in the Northern Hemisphere, if the wind is at your back the area of low pressure is to your left. When you plot many wind points you get a pattern that illustrates the pressure pattern and when you look at speed you get an idea how far away the location is from the center of the pressure center.

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This map shows how plotting the wind can show you the location of the pressure center. The thing to remember is that sometimes measuring stations are more than 100 miles apart, so plotting the wind like this can really help.