Q&A: Wind speed and direction Thu Jul 31 13:14:06 1997

Wind speed and direction

I am trying to find yearly average wind speed and direction data for about 20 cities nationwide. What would be the easiest way to do this? Thanks.


Wind direction data is fairly hard to come by. Often, it is not documented very well. Most stations, however, have adequate wind speed data.

The searches in NOAA NCDC DAILY FSOD offers easy, quick access to all of the US weather stations. This could be accessed by clicking on the link, or by following the source. (i.e. first go to our list of datasets then find NOAA. When in NOAA, find NCDC, and so on...)

I will use the windy city's Chicago O'Hare International Airport as an example of how to access the wind data within the dataset. In order to use this location, I merely typed in Chicago in the search, and a list of five (5) Chicago stations appeared. Once at the Chicago O'Hare station, a list of variables appears. Daily average wind speed is the first such variable. Using this data unfiltered, a graph of all the wind data is created. After *filtering* this data, monthly climatology, average, maximum, and minimum daily average wind speeds could be attained. (note: These are max/min of the daily averages, not the highest wind gust.)

NOAA NCDC DAILY FSOD average daily wind speed (mph) CHICAGO OHARE INT AP

Using the filters on the information seen in this graph (I zoomed in on it) after choosing select only the data in the current view, It is possible to find the average of the selected data. In this case it is 10.84768 mph. Accessing both the daily peak wind gust and the daily minimum wind are also possible. These options are available in the GLOBALSOD option, rather than the FSOD dataset. Globalsod is a map of the whole world and only dates back 5 years, whereas Fsod is of only the US and it dates back a few centuries at certain stations.

Since we are currently working on our climatology option (yes, it does not work for daily data yet) the best way to find the average yearly wind data for the twenty stations you want, is to:

1. follow the searches in NOAA NCDC DAILY FSOD link to select a station.
2. create a graph of the wind speed data by clickin gon the graph icon.
3. zoom into the graph to your desired year.
4. select select only the data in the current view.
5. select filters.
6. disreguard monthly climatology for the time being, and select Average over T. Good luck! If you are still confused, write to:


Other references:

  1. Q&A: I need Fort Lauderdale Wind Data.
  2. Q&A: I need help in determining the average wind speed over a specific period of time.
  3. Q&A: I am looking for historical wind data.

Andrew Goldberg

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