Re: Metric wind barbs

From: Leslie Hartten <Leslie.M.Hartten_at_nyahnyahspammersnyahnyah>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 15:26:00 MST

Hi Jack,

On 12/1/09 1:08 PM, Jack Glendening wrote:
> Can any non-US meteorologists comment on whether there is a metric
> "meteorological standard" for wind barb display of wind speed? I'm
> getting one (non-US) person telling me that wind barbs always
> represent 5 knots, even in countries where winds are normally given in
> kn/hr, and another telling me that is not so. Being US-oriented, I
> have no idea how wind barbs are normally represented outside the US.

   I'm not non-US but I've done non-knot wind plots and will throw in my
$0.02: in my experience half-barbs, barbs, and flags are always 5, 10,
and 50 in whatever unit is being used (kts, m/s, etc.).

   Having said that, I'll toss in this quote from _The Meteorological
Glossary, Third Edition, In continuation of the Weather Map_, from the
Air Ministry Meteorological Office, First American Edition (1940):

   Summaries of surface wind and their representation.-- By
international agreement the wind is represented on synoptic charts by
arrows pointing towards the station, with feathers to show the force; a
full-length feather represents two steps of the Beaufort scale, a short
feather one step. This practice was adopted in the Meteorological
office 9except for the 'Marine Observer') on March 30, 1936."


Dr. Leslie M. Hartten
CIRES, Univ. of Colorado       email:
216 UCB                        web:
Boulder  CO  80309-0216        phone: (303)497-7052   fax: 497-6181
Disclaimer:  The contents of this message are mine personally and do not 
necessarily reflect any position of the Government of the United States 
of America, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the 
University of Colorado.
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Received on Tue Dec 1 15:26:05 2009

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