Too windy for you?

Last week Matthew Cobb put up a nice animated map of the world’s ocean currents. Today, courtesy of alert reader Ken, we have a cool real-time map of where and how strongly the winds are blowing in the U.S. at this moment:

Animated wind map here.

You can click on any point to enlarge the map and find out the local wind-speed reading.

Right now it’s blowing gusts down the central U.S., but things are pretty calm in Chicago.


  1. Kevin Alexander
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    That animation just blows me away!

  2. agentwhim
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Pretty, but doesn’t it bother you Americans that such a huge proportion of the country is omitted from this picture?

    Also, is that dead zone south-west of Columbus directly over Ken Ham?

  3. daveau
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    So, these are the current currents?

  4. Nathair
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Is there any other country that terminates their weather maps at the national borders?

    • normw
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink


  5. FastLane
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink


    That’s the entire universe right there….. =P

  6. Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Sorry but this wind map stuff is way too complicated. I have an easier way to determine the wind direction:

    the wind will ALWAYS blow against the direction in which I am attempting to run, walk or bicycle.

    Ergo, every time I run, walk or cycle on a “loop” course, I create a vortex somewhere.

  7. Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The parent site to the wind map is quite interesting — lots of different artistic computer visualizations of large sets of data.

  8. Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I agree with blueollie above! The wind will ALWAYS blow against the direction in which I am riding my bicycle. In fact, I’m fairly certain the winds change direction in the middle of the day so that I’m riding against headwinds during both the morning and evening commutes to campus.

    • elsburymk14
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Too funny. Every time my wife and I go running we head out against the wind and come back against the wind! There’s obviously many variables at play here, but it drives me crazy!

      • Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Actually, there might be some truth to this. One year I was doing 50 mile (80 km) bike rides on Saturday morning on an “out and back” bike path and it ALWAYS appeared as if I had a wind in my face on the way back, but none at my back on the way out.

        Then I went to weather underground and found that at about 9:30/10:00, the wind DID pick up from calm to windy…and that happened to be the approximate time I turned around!

        Of course, had I driven to the “turn around point” and did my ride in the opposite direction, I could have enjoyed a tail wind with no head wind opposing me. 🙂

        • bacopa
          Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Do you life near a coast? Could be a sea breeze/land breeze shift.

          • Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            I live in Central Illinois (about 180 miles (approx 300 km) south of Chicago.

  9. Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    How doe we know the direction it is blowing? I suppose you need to marry it to the isotherms.

    Talking of wind, our UK PM David Cameron has just come our with some pious religious guff

  10. Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    When I was in my teens, instead of my mid-eighties as I am now, I lived in England, and I remember reading something, somewhere, that attributed the frequent tornadoes in the US to the fact that, in the US the rule of the road is “Keep to the right”, while in Britain the rule is “Keep to the left”. This discrepancy sought to explain why the US had tornadoes and Britain didn’t. The explanation was patently Anglo-centric because it failed to explain the almost total absence of tornadoes in Europe where drivers also drove on the right.
    Just sayin’.

  11. FastLane
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    There’s a cool, low speed vortex forming in eastern OK right about now. At the scale of the map, it looks like a slow moving tornado. Very cool.

  12. Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve been to Palm Springs several times in the last few years, and enjoyed seeing the wind farms (renewable energy + I consider them kinetic sculpture). It is interesting seeing how, at least in the picture above, how relatively little wind they have.

    I haven’t been to Denver/central U.S. for a few years now, but judging by the picture above I hope they are investing in wind farms.

    • Irene
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 3:49 am | Permalink

      There are several in Iowa (you can see them along I-80), but out here in Western Nebraska there are very few. The wind actually blows so hard here that they have to turn them off sometimes for fear of them breaking and causing massive damage.

      We get so much wind though that I’ve thought there should be more built and you could just turn them off at the very high winds point, but it doesn’t seem like a lot of people are interested right now.

  13. KP
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I did a Master’s at U. of Oklahoma between 1994-1997, and I always joked about how the wind blew without anything to stop it between Saskatchewan and there. This map shows the truth in that…

    One year the average windspeed from January through June, all-inclusive was 12 mph. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a 6 month average, that’s windy.

  14. Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Windy? More like hairy! USA looks like Chewbacca!

    • Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking more like yak fur. either that, or what they always said turned out to be true, but we didn’t just grow hair on our palms…

  15. Cat Woman
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Amazing. Thanks. For a moment there, I thought it was an animated map of this:


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