Anemometer: weather instruments tour

An anemometer can have 2 separate pieces of equipment--one to measure wind speed and one to determine wind direction--or it might have both rolled into one. The sensors are normally mounted on a 10-metre tower away from any obstructions tclassat might affect the wind flow.

If 2 separate detectors are used, they're mounted on a U-shaped arm about 1 metre apart. Wind speed is determined by the cup anemometer--the stronger the wind blows, the faster the cups will turn. The speed of rotation is converted into a wind speed in km/h. The wind vane is designed to swing around and point into the wind. Both weather reports and weather forecasts always give the direction the wind is coming from.

At many automatic stations, the 2 sensors are combined into one that looks rather like a small airplane. The spinning blades on the nose measure wind speed and the flat plate on the tail swings the whole unit around to face into the wind.

Both types of wind equipment can be connected so that the readings are displayed on dials for people to look at; graphed on a chart for future reference; or fed to a computer for automatic transmission to the weather office.

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