Why is Wind speed in hurricanes so wrong?

  • You have to remember, depending on the model you are using those are the values at Height. IE 10mAGL is apx 33 ft above Ground Level, some model are at 9k feet and some higher. 10m is about as close to ground level as you can get with model software, and there is all kinds of factors at ground level that can change the wind values. Homes, trees, vehicles, even porches can effect an accurate wind speed at ground level.

  • @Siff Where do you get the real data from for everywhere on the planet? It's easy to say you have real data in somewhere like the USA, which is covered by hundreds of observation points, along with upper air measurements taken twice daily. What about everywhere else?

    How do you verify a forecast for a location which there is no credible observation data? Remote sensing can help, but it only goes so far.

  • @TZ 100% correct TZ. Others in this thread clearly don't understand weather modeling. Windy pulls the model data - NAM 3k, ECMWF 9k or GFS 22k - from NOAA and other agencies and then displays it on a great GUI - all 100% free. Windy does not generate model data. Prior to Windy I was forced to look at the raw data - ugh. I'm hoping soon that Windy can also show other "popular" models such as HRRR, OP4-, BAK40, etc. Also, a skew-t at a click would be wonderful! Keep up the good work. Windy is an invaluable tool for pilots and sailors, who use it every day. As for the haters - take the time to learn how to use Windy - for example, I just now selected Wind Gusts and see 155 MPH near the eye of Irma - very accurate. And study meteorology , it might help you get a clue ... if all that fails, go use some other app/website, most are not free.


  • @stevecrye
    You are absolutely right!
    Windy is the best "tool" for visualization of weather models and the only one that provides, for free, data from the ECMWF. Unfortunately some people cannot distinguish model data (forecasted values) from real measurments (observations). And some others even expect to have forecast radar images !!! ignoring that radar "can see" only what happens now ... forecast models "visualize" the future (with all the inaccuracies that include).
    P.S. sorry for my poor english

  • If someone wants to compare actual wind measurements with model's outputs:
    Here can find ocean wind measurements from scatterometer (satellite instrument)

  • @Siff , it is mentioned in the about section. It says the site uses three weather models. i don't see why you feel they need to spell out the things they do not use.

  • @georgewells , news agencies are most likely getting their data from the National Hurricane Center, who are in turn getting their wind speed data by flying an airplane into the storm. This website relies on a few standard models to present it's graphics, not actual observations.

  • Siff mentioned that he had been comparing weather station data to Windy's reported surface winds and they agreed. I too have been doing this following Irma (I live in Orlando). I went to weather channel or other local weather data for a location and compared it to Windy and they did seem to be very close (for wind speed). Weather stations measure the actual wind speed from instruments that are 10m off the ground (http://www.wral.com/weather/blogpost/1283652/). I would assume that the reported hurricane wind speeds are measured the same way, but I agree that there’s a big disparity between the reported speed and Windy’s speed. Another very similar site, www.ventusky.com, has the same disparity.

  • I don't care about the politics for sure. I also think this is a great graphic to indicate what's happening and going to happen. Whether there is some error in the system of 20 or 40 %, it's a great way to show laymen some technical information that isn't a bunch of stuff that only engineers, meteorologists, or geniuses can comprehend. GREAT JOB

  • Windy needs to get the Winds right... kind of a poetic necessity. :)

    I agree with many that that the wind data sets (wind & wind gusts) are are not easy to nail at all - let alone consistently. But I truly believe it needs to be mastered over time... especially in the angry weather world we have brought ourselves.

    I think Ventusky is making a good effort here (though not sure on data accuracy audits re wind).

    When Cat5 Matthew rolled thru Florida last year - the wind data projections were wildly off the further out from the storm centers.. useless actually.

    When I looked that the micro-local Dark Sky wind speed projections... they were spot on.

    I think that (in the end) there needs to be a artful balance between macro and micro data. That said: when you are in a storm - most want to know what is going to happen to me where I am... and those we love.

    Master the winds... Windy!

    Stay safe everyone....

  • @Mekronid Oh please DO stop your rant against Trump. Or show your sources.

  • Windy states very clearly that winds are arrived at using all relative, applicable and resourceful data and they are defined. The arrows represent wind velocity, (relative speed and direction), within a certain volume suspended above the surface. There may be a billion directions and speeds in that volume, but the one chosen represents the speed and direction expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or, (most commonly), the mean.****

    IMO windy is a great tool-very discerning engineering.

  • Steve, this is great and I thank you (I live in Florida)
    A better work around is take the measurement at 100 meters or 500 meters.
    This is a compromise of sorts.
    This is a worthwhile project and may save many lives here.
    I am reposting on Facebook with some editing. all the tool bars and are can be distracting. I wish you could do false colour white green and blue.

    THank you.

  • @Mike-Boyle
    If you need any help in evaluation let me know.
    I'm a retired electronic/ computer technician.

  • @Siff said in Why is Wind speed in hurricanes so wrong?:

    Yeah ok blame The President for this... Right...
    Technology that they use for satellite measurements is actually the GPS system and special x-ray detectors. The technology is already there and being used for this additional purpose. That is why I included the information about how they get the measurement data. GPS is already being used extensively and the resultant reflection off of the water let them calculate the movement of said water. The GPS signal is reused for this purpose. Now you are trying to tell me they are getting rid of the GPS system? I highly doubt that.
    I also agree that if the system is not accurate in real time then what data are you feeding it every morning, noon and night and why is the data over my own location so accurate when they use the very same systems to show our current weather. In fact they enhance the system using GPS and the local overland radar is fed into the data as well. I don't understand this explanation that they are cutting the funding....
    Is windy.com using real data or not and what is the discrepancy between the real time data and current data from the ground sources. Why would the system be so accurate overland but very "Smoothed" over the water?
    Why is there a 100 mph difference between the current data shown on your system and the reported data from the media..
    They are saying this storm is 185 mph sustained wind with 225 gusts, yet your data is 100 mhp slower.

  • @Siff I get what you're saying, but you can't really compare this to the general media. Modern entertainment journalism just makes stuff up. They don't care. Their information comes from the aether. They just want you to keep watching through the commercials to the next segment. They'd say the winds are made of explosive gas and are gusting at Mach 2.5 if it was believable.

  • @Mekronid Yes, you figured it out. Now can we get back to storm modeling? thanks

  • Please at least post a notice of wind info not being related to actual real time experience. I used this to track storm as my daughter and crewof S/Y Ocean Star are stranded in Tortola. I was am so confused and it absolutely added to all the stress!!! Did not know what info to trust.
    Finally realized the tracking portion is the only real time data that is helpful . All that other effort to post data is USELESS if it is not actual experience in real time.

  • @Mekronid is this actually happening? Are you blaming politics? Wow! I wouldn't be surprised if some of you guys say that Trump is responsible for the formation of Irma. Stop using Trump as argument to justify everything not done by own negligence. Politics are all the same, so they will always be your excuse to not to achieve anything then.

  • Moderator

    Please stop political discussion here, windy is about whether... Nothing else

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