Wind Rose Chart

Oct 04, 2021


A wind rose is a graphic tool used by meteorologists to give a succinct view of how wind speed and direction are typically distributed at a particular location. Historically, wind roses were predecessors of the compass rose (found on charts), as there was no differentiation between a cardinal direction and the wind which blew from such a direction. Using a polar coordinate system of gridding, the frequency of winds over a time period is plotted by wind direction, with colour bands showing wind speed ranges. The direction of the longest spoke shows the wind direction with the greatest frequency.

While weather data from software tools can provide a basic understanding of wind patterns, the best way to get accurate data is to perform real measurements at the site itself.

Climate data, including wind patterns, mostly comes from airports. It is often the case that the wind patterns measured at the airport are very different than the wind patterns of nearby sites. However, by understanding basic concepts of air movements, you can adjust the wind data to better suit the site location and simulate more accurate scenarios. When wind data is collected at airports, it is typically measured at 10 m (30 ft) above ground. Consider this and your terrain when designing with winds at a pedestrian level.

In meteorology, wind speed, or wind flow speed, is a fundamental atmospheric quantity caused by air moving from high to low pressure, usually due to changes in temperature. Wind speed is now commonly measured with an anemometer.

Wind speed affects weather forecasting, aviation and maritime operations, construction projects, growth and metabolism rate of many plant species, and has countless other implications. Note that wind direction is usually almost parallel to isobars (and not perpendicular, as one might expect), due to Earth’s rotation.