WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

When the wind is described as NW, does that mean the wind is heading NW or coming out of the NW?

Posted October 31, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:       Justin,     By general agreement in the meteorological and aviation communities, the term "wind direction" is defined as the direction FROM which the wind is blowing. This is in contrast to the term "bearing," which indicates the direction toward which an object is moving. The result is that an east wind, for example, would cause a balloon to follow a westerly bearing, and regarding your specific example, a NW wind is a wind that would carry a balloon toward the southeast.

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