Wonder Wednesday: Wind Measurements

Weather

Blue Measuring Instrument Anemometer Wind Apparatus

Anemometer Wind Apparatus used to measure wind speeds in the area. Picture courtesy of maxpixel.net.

Initially, wind speeds and measurements weren’t put in the perspective we know today. It wasn’t until 1805 when one man, Admiral Francis Beaufort, created a scale called the Beaufort scale. This measures winds based on observations rather than actual speed, depending on movement of items both on land and sea. The measurement of the Beaufort scale was ranked 0-12, with zero being calm/no winds and twelve being hurricane winds. While the Beaufort scale is still used in some areas of the world, most wind speeds are measured with digital instruments. 

Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort 1774-1857. Picture courtesy of National Maritime Museum.

In the U.S., most people measure wind speed the same way we measure how fast we are driving our vehicles. This measurement is known as miles per hour (mph), which indicates how many miles an ‘object’ can travel in one hour. People who deal with aviation as well as travel in the sea, rely on knots, which is measuring the wind speeds, but use what is called a wind barb to help show direction as well as speeds. And we also have kilometers per hour for areas in the world measuring with the metric system.  

The Beaufort Wind Scale. Picture courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

Unlike the Beaufort scale relying on personal observations, meteorologists use weather instruments called anemometers to get more accurate and reliable data. Many weather stations have a cup set-up anemometer, which gives a correct depiction of how fast winds are blowing at the time. This information is computed almost immediately, which lets the meteorologists get up-to-date information. The hand-held anemometer works similarly, but instead of having spinning cups to measure the wind, a fan is built in, and gives measurements of how fast the air is moving by how fast the fan spins. 

Handheld digital anemometer. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedi.org.

 While the Beaufort scale was considered an innovative measurement system at the time, our weather patterns continue to evolve over time. For now, we don’t have plans of changing the current systems of measuring wind speeds, but this could also change in the future. 

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Partly Cloudy

San Angelo

78°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 78°
Wind
3 mph N
Humidity
72%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low near 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
70°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low near 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
9 mph NNE
Precip
71%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Robert Lee

79°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 82°
Wind
6 mph N
Humidity
69%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low around 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
70°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low around 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
7 mph NNE
Precip
70%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Sunny

Eldorado

75°F Sunny Feels like 75°
Wind
5 mph SSW
Humidity
80%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
7 mph NNE
Precip
66%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Mertzon

77°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 77°
Wind
7 mph SW
Humidity
68%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Wind
10 mph NNE
Precip
75%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Eden

79°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 83°
Wind
8 mph W
Humidity
71%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Wind
9 mph NNE
Precip
64%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

San Angelo

78°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 78°
Wind
2 mph NNW
Humidity
71%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low near 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
70°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low near 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
8 mph NNE
Precip
72%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Robert Lee

79°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 82°
Wind
6 mph N
Humidity
69%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low around 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
70°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low around 70F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
7 mph NNE
Precip
70%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Sunny

Eldorado

75°F Sunny Feels like 75°
Wind
5 mph SSW
Humidity
80%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Wind
7 mph NNE
Precip
66%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Mertzon

77°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 77°
Wind
7 mph SW
Humidity
68%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Wind
10 mph NNE
Precip
75%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Partly Cloudy

Eden

79°F Partly Cloudy Feels like 83°
Wind
8 mph W
Humidity
71%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
69°F Scattered thunderstorms this evening becoming more widespread overnight. Low 69F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Wind
9 mph NNE
Precip
64%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent

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Water Conservation Status

Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week, no watering between noon and 6 pm. Runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!