Wind socks, on the other hand, are equipment that visibly show the direction of the wind at airports and seaports. Wind enters the bigger end of the sock to indicate the direction using this gadget. The movement and form of a wind sock can also indicate wind intensity. These devices might be used with an anemometer, which monitors wind speed. They can also be used by themselves as a warning system for windy conditions.
There are two types of wind socks: horizontal and vertical. Both work by the same principle but in different shapes. Horizontal wind socks are shaped like a flat plate with notches around the edge to indicate the directions 0°-180°. When the wind is from the horizon (90°), the sock will be upright. If the wind is coming from any other angle, the sock will be laid flat. Vertical wind socks are similar except that they are curved instead of notched. They usually have 40 or 50 pins stuck into the base to represent the directions 0°-360°. The sock is laid out with these directions in mind when it is installed over a flagpole or some other fixed object.
These gadgets are easy to use and understand. However, they can be misleading if not used properly. For example, if a person was to put a horizontal sock up into the wind and then lay down on their back, the person would believe that the wind was blowing away from them even though it was actually blowing toward them.
Wind vanes measure wind direction and are frequently used in conjunction with anemometers to measure wind speed. Wind vanes can be divided into two main types: mechanical and anemometric.
Mechanical wind vanes use the angle of rotation of a shaft or other device (such as a propeller) to indicate the direction of the wind. This type of vane is easy to manufacture from standard materials such as steel or plastic, but they cannot accurately indicate very low speeds or very high speeds without being calibrated against some other reference value. Mechanical vanes are still used for educational purposes in science classes when accurate measurements over a wide range of wind speeds are not necessary.
Anemometric wind vanes use several sensors to measure different aspects of the wind's behavior. The most common anemometric wind vanes have one sensor that measures air velocity and determines direction, and another sensor that measures turbulence and temperature. These anemometric vanes can give more precise readings at lower speeds than mechanical vanes because they take advantage of the fact that the various properties of the wind change as a function of speed. Anemometric vanes are also able to distinguish between wind coming from different directions even if it appears to be from straight on.
An anemometer, or wind indicator, is a device that measures the wind's speed, direction, or both. They are used to measure wind energy and can also be used as weather instruments in their own right.
Wind indicators come in many shapes and sizes, from small hand-held devices that show either numbers or arrows to indicate the direction and strength of the wind, to large horizontal vanes on buildings or towers showing the direction of the wind. They can also be found on aircraft wings and fuselages; here they are known as wingtip markers.
Wind indicators have two main uses: to protect people by warning them when there is a danger of being blown away from a building or structure, and to allow farmers to know which part of their land is most affected by the wind so they can take action to prevent its impact on their crops.
People often think that only birds feel the need to know which way the wind is blowing, but this is not true: animals across the world use the wind to help guide them home after a long journey, to find food, avoid predators, etc.