OT (really, way OT) Stupid question # 287,463

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It's just early enough and I'm sleepy enough to dare ask such a stupid question:

When the weather dude (or dudette) says the wind will be 'northeast at 20mph' or 'southwest winds tonight!' what does that mean? Which way will the wind be blowing? Does a northeast wind blow from the northeast to southwest, or does a northeast wind blow TO the northeast from the the southwest.

Go ahead with the flames & insults, I really just want to know. It's one of those things I never quite got right back in elementary school, and have since been too embarrassed to ask .

Thanks for the help.

-- Arewyn (artemis31@email.msn.com), February 10, 2000


Northeast wind blows TO the northeast.

-- kritter (kritter@adelphia.net), February 10, 2000.

It's FROM the direction Al or Willard or Mark gives you.

eg: "Northeast winds today 35 gusting to 50" Translates as winds coming from the Northeast at kite flying to people flying speeds.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), February 10, 2000.

Right Chuck! It`s the direction the wind is coming from. by the way Chuck, thanks for the help in getting links on here. tried it, didn`t work. [it`s a webtv]

-- mutter (murmur@ya.com), February 10, 2000.

Arewyn, if this is a joke, you're gonna be in big trouble...The wind will blow FROM the direction the dude/dudette says....If you face the sun in the early morning, Florida is to your right. If you turn and face Florida while outside, a NW wind will blow against your right bun.

-- King of Free Estimates (Your@town.USA), February 10, 2000.

Just to make sure---

A "North" wind does not bring warmth in winter.

A "South" wind does not bring freeze warnings.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 10, 2000.

This one is easy to be confused on.

The official method is to refer to wind as "coming from" (direction) all wind direction indicators are set this way.

The weather persons are continually trying to add variety to the way forecasts sound (less boredom for them and us)

so they will sometimes say "Winds blowing a Westerly direction, or blowing West", and verify that by pointing or gliding the hand from east coast to west coast on the map - when they should say " in the East" or "East wind"

The national weather service and associated press or UPI send out forecasts that are read the same way.

-- Living in (the@real.world), February 10, 2000.

Okay, okay, I got a question for you meteorology buffs:

When the weather individual says "20% chance of rain" (or whatever), do they mean: (a) 20% of the area has a 100% chance of rain (b) 100% of the area has a 20% chance of rain, or (c) we think that all of you will get a little bit of rain, but we can't be certain of who will get what, so our guess is that there's an 80% chance of you staying dry. ???

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), February 10, 2000.

Anita: 20% chance of rain for an area means that within that area, similar weather conditions have produced rain 20% of the time in previous instances. Thus: 20% chance of rain over southern New York would mean that on previous days, when the weather was similar, rain happened on one out of every five of those days somewhere in the area. A cumbersome explanation, I know.

-- Little Pig (littlepig@brickhouse.com), February 10, 2000.

As an addicted hawkwatcher (meaning that I stand on a mountain top during spring and fall migration seasons to watch the flights), one of my favorite quotes is from Hamlet:

I am but mad north-northwest When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

[handsaw = heron]

The north/northwest winds occur in the fall. They are what help propel the birds out of their summer breeding grounds in Canada and, I hope, directly over my head! Southerly or southwesterly winds in the fall mean I'm working in my garden instead.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 10, 2000.

I tried facing the sun this morning (abour dawn). Florida is ahead and slightly to my left! (But I'm in Kaua'i!)

And yes, winds are expressed as a function of where they are from...or as a function of a prevailing wind condition, such as trade winds from 10-20 knots...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), February 10, 2000.

Arewyn, as others have pointed-out, winds blow from the given direction; i.e., a nor'easter in Massachusetts is blowing from the NE. However, just to confuse things a bit, sea currents are moving toward the given direction; i.e., if the Gulf Stream is described as a northeast current, it is moving toward the NE.

-- Norm Harrold (nharrold@terragon.com), February 10, 2000.

Sorry, I forgot to add that "set" and "drift", as used by maritime navigators, also refer to the direction toward which the vessel is moving. Confusing, no?

-- Norm Harrold (nharrold@terragon.com), February 10, 2000.

Okay, so that's 1 TO and 6 FROMs, and 3 that I just couldn't figure out. Looks like the Froms have it!

Thanks so much. Now I can read the NWS report for my area and have a clue.

Here's another weather question that's been bothering me for many years: How come on the Weather Channel maps, Canada NEVER has any weather at all? I mean, I've been to Canada, I saw weather there, what's the problem? Do the Weather Channel satellites not photograph Canada for some reason? Could it be that Canada is in some way a supernatural entity and therefore does not appear on film? Isn't this some kind of discrimination? Are the Weather Channel executives closet Canadian-haters? Or could it be that Canadians don't like Americans, and WON'T show us their weather? Maybe they WANT us to be surprised by all those cold fronts and clippers. I smell a conspiracy!!!

I tell ya, sometimes I just can't sleep, knowing the truth is out there, and I'm in here!

-- Arewyn (artemis31@email.msn.com), February 10, 2000.

Okay - one smart aleck from HI already noticed....the right bun theory only hold for those in the Northern Hemisphere of their right brain.

<<...If you face the sun in the early morning, Florida is to your right. If you turn and face Florida while outside, a NW wind will blow against your right bun.>>

For those from the sunny climes of the left-over hemiphere (the frying southern hemisphere of OZ and NZ) who are still in their right minds, or who have left-overs from their right brain....they have to stand looking the other way and invert everything.

But they're used to it.....their AC current runs backwards half the time anyway....and all their DC solar cells put power back up into the sky if they hook them up wrong.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), February 10, 2000.

AND THEN........You have the 'downeaster' which is really going NW if I understand it right! Taz

-- Taz (Tassi123@aol.com), February 10, 2000.

To answer the other question....its like the NY City news. Nothing happens west of the Hudson River.

Actually, Canadianainains have weather. It just never changes. 8<) So the same report that G. Washington got in 1763 ("It's freezing up here!") is still valid....and after all, it's real boring repeating the same thing every day. Now, if they ever thawed out so the ground melts.....then maybe we'll have a story.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), February 10, 2000.

ROFLMAO....thanks to each and every one!

-- Kyle (midtnbuddy@aol.com), February 10, 2000.

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