The Wind Across Australia

wind rose and anemometerWind is one of the most highly variable meteorological elements, both in speed and direction. It is influenced by a wide range of factors, from large scale pressure patterns, to the time of day and the nature of the surrounding terrain. Because the wind is highly variable it is often studied by means of frequency analyses, provided here in the form of wind roses, rather than as simple averages.

Wind roses for Australian sites

You can obtain wind rose for locations across Australia from the following:

Information about maximum wind gusts, as well as mean 9am and 3pm wind speeds, is provided for each available site in the Tables of Climatic Averages.

Specifying the Wind
The following points summarise some aspects of wind measurement undertaken by the Bureau of Meteorology.
  • The wind direction is specified relative to true (geographic) north, and is the direction from which the wind is blowing.
  • The direction can be specified either as the number of degrees clockwise from true north, or as one of the 8 or 16 compass points.
  • Wind speeds are 10-minute average wind speeds unless specifically labelled as gusts, in which case they are an almost instantaneous reading.
  • Within Australia, wind speeds are generally presented in kilometres per hour.
  • For nautical and aviation use, the wind speed is expressed in knots, while for some scientific applications, units of metres per second are used.
The Learn About Meteorology section has an online calculator to convert between various wind speed units.

Last modified 8 February 2012