Author Topic: Wind Rose Data for planning  (Read 913 times)

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Offline misterflask

Wind Rose Data for planning
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:31:46 am »
I stumbled on a site with wind rose data and thought I'd share.  You can download wind roses from http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/downloads/climate/windrose/ .  An explanation of the data is at http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/climate/windrose.html .  If you're not familiar with wind roses, they show a number of colored rays emanating from the center.  The length of the ray shows the likelihood that the wind will blow FROM that direction.  The colors  of the ray show the likely wind intensity when coming from said direction.  For my planned W-E transit of Kansas in September, I see that I'm fairly likely to face a moderate headwind, very likely to ride in stiff crosswinds, and will probably never see a tailwind.  From my initial perusal of data along the TA, I would reverse the direction of my trip to E-W were there not logistical considerations.  I can't change the wind, but I can at least get psyched for it.  After a tour or two I realized that if I didn't like headwinds and hills I would need to find another hobby. 

Offline jamawani

Re: Wind Rose Data for planning
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 08:51:44 am »
You can't beat the wind.  It will only beat you.
And of all things weatherwise - it is the least predictable.
I once had headwinds heading EASTBOUND in the Columbia Gorge.
Go figure.

Winds are usually lightest in the morning - strongest in late afternoon.
Ride early if you anticipate headwinds - stop when it becomes a hassle.
There's always another day.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Wind Rose Data for planning
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 09:14:05 am »
One of these days I'm going to have to dig up Jobst Brandt's usenet explanation of why a crosswind feels like a headwind.  I'm resigned to an informal disagreement with Pete Staehling on who had the worst headwinds crossing Kansas -- he eastbound in '08, or me westbound in '09.  I think I got the worst of the big truck bow shock blowing into my face, though.

Lots of people leave at dawn crossing Kansas, and stop early in the afternoon.  It's a great way to beat the heat and the wind, which often starts around 11:00-2:00.  (Advantage westbound: car and truck drivers don't have to see you against the glare of the rising sun.)

Offline misterflask

Re: Wind Rose Data for planning
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 11:32:37 pm »
Thanks for comments guys.  I think I would have thought of the up-at-daybreak idea about 2/3 of the way across the prairie. 
Here's a link to the Brandt article on our late friend Sheldon Brown's site:
http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/wind.html