National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Stormy Western U.S.

An active and complex weather pattern is in store this weekend through next week, as multiple storms track from West Coast to East Coast. The activity starts today as a vigorous system moves through north-central California into the Intermountain West with rain, perhaps a few thunderstorms and heavy mountain snow. This system will move into the Upper Midwest tomorrow with a swath of heavy snow. Read More >

Wind Speed & Direction

Wind speed. A combination of long/short barbs and pennants indicate the speed of the wind in station weather plots rounded to the nearest 5 knots. Calm wind is indicated by a large circle drawn around the skycover symbol.

One long barb is used to indicate each 10 knots with the short barb representing 5 knots. At 50 knots, the barbs changes to a pennant. For wind speeds higher than 50 knots, long and short barbs are used again in combination with the pennant(s). (See examples below.)

0-2 kts
(0-2 mph)
3-7 kts
(3-8 mph)
8-12 kts
(9-14 mph)
13-17 kts
(15-20 mph)
18-22 kts
(21-25 mph)
23-27 kts
(26-31 mph)
28-32 kts
(32-37 mph)
33-37 kts
(38-43 mph)
48-52 kts
(55-60 mph)
53-57 kts
(61-66 mph)
58-62 kts
(67-71 mph)
63-67 kts
(73-77 mph)
98-102 kts
(113-117 mph)
102-107 kts
(119-123 mph)
to the
nearest 5
0 kts 5 kts 10 kts 15 kts 20 kts 25 kts 30 kts 35 kts 50 kts 55 kts 60 kts 65 kts 100 kts 105 kts
Plotted as 0 knot wind plot 5 knot wind plot 10 knot wind plot 15 knot wind plot 20 knot wind plot 25 knots wind plot 30 knots wind plot 35 knots wind plot 50 knots wind plot 55 knots wind plot 60 knots wind plot 65 knots wind plot 100 knots wind plot 105 knots wind plot


Wind FROM 340°
Wind FROM 040°
Wind FROM 190°
Wind from 340 degrees (NNW) Wind from 040 degrees (NE) Wind from 190 degree (S)

The wind direction is indicated by the long shaft. The shaft will point to the direction FROM which the wind is blowing. The direction is based upon a 36-point compass.