How to use wind history for better weather forecasting

How to use wind history for better weather forecasting


The today's weather turns into a weather history with the start of a new day. It could be found for all the main elements: temperature, precipitation, and others. In this article, we will understand what wind history is and how to use it for better weather forecasting.

What is wind speed history?

The history of the weather, in general, is statistical data on the state of the atmosphere and the ocean, collected on the basis of regular meteorological observations made from hour to hour, day to day, month to month, year to year — continuously.

The wind speed history is part of the overall weather history along with the history of temperature, precipitation, and other main and additional weather elements. But of course, it's not just about speed. Just as with forecasts, statistical information about the wind is collected for each of the three individual parameters that characterize this weather element, namely:

  • Wind speed history
  • Wind direction history
  • Wind gusts history

In turn, they can be found in three main ways of presenting wind and weather data:

  • Wind history in the forecast table
  • Wind history rose
  • Wind history live map

The purpose of using the historical wind data collection is the same as any other statistical information: for better weather forecasting. Knowing what the wind was like on a particular day in a particular place and identyfing a wind pattern, you can compare that data to the forecast. If it matches forecast, it can be trusted more. And vice versa.

So the wind history data may be needed by a wide range of people, including those involved in outdoor activities. For example, to launch drones.

Shalom de Leon / Unsplash

How to use wind direction history for better weather forecasting?

Let's take the as an example, where this data is available since 2012 — for the past 10 years until 2022 as a reanalysis of the ECMWF — #1 global weather forecast model. The difference with the general weather history you can find in other sources is that ECMWF works "backward" in time and processes all available weather observations made in past. The result is comprehensive retrospective weather data for any point on the Earth for every 3 hours. 

In particular, in the app you will find the wind history in several ways:

Wind history in the forecast for the past 10 days

On the Spot screen in the forecast table go back 10 days to get the historical wind forecast data for that period. This will help you to see what the wind was like, including speed, direction, and gusts, prior to the current day to understand the pattern of its behavior. This data is also available on the wind rose above the forecast table.

Wind history in the forecast for the past 10 days in the for iOS

You can get the same on a Wind Map. To do this, go to the map by clicking on the corresponding icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Wind history in the forecast for the past 10 days in the for iOS

Wind history in the Weather History section

Swipe down the screen to the Weather History (Weather Archive) section. Here you see data with the wind history for each month for the same past 10 years (2021–2012) as well as for the entire decade on average (first column All). Like the Spot screen, this data is also available on the wind rose.

Wind history in the Weather History section in the for iOS

Wind history in the Weather History section in the for iOS

To get the data for each specific day, go to the detailed history (button at the bottom of the screen). By the colors showing different wind speeds — from blue (no or little wind) to magenta (strong or extreme wind) — you can also get a general idea about the wind conditions for that particular month in history. A wind rose with this data is also available here.

Wind history in the Weather History section in the for iOS

Live HD wind history map with speed and direction

From the Weather History section, go back to the spot and then to the Live wind map to get a visual history of the wind, including direction and speed, with averages for each month. For this purpose, choose the layer of the same name in the slider on the map.

Live HD wind history map in the for iOS

Where to get wind gusts history?

As you can see in the examples above, you can find the wind history in the throughout the entire application, including both the Spot screen and the Wind Map. But the main place of the historical wind data is the Weather History section with the same name.

However, this is not all where you can find information about wind history in the app. Two more sections, Spot Info and Chats will also help you with this:

Spot info

Spot Info is a section with basic information about each spot, which includes data about wind patterns. You can find it in the spots for kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, and other water and air activities. In particular, there is such a concept as the "Working wind direction". For example for popular Nazare water spots spot in Portugal, is east (E) in case of surfing and a whole range of directions — N, NNE, SW, and others — in case of kitesurfing. That is, you can see where the wind is blowing from on the spot, which is suitable for these sports.

Spot info for Nazare surfing spot, Portugal, in the for iOS

Spot chat

Chats are places of communication between users of the app, which are available at almost all popular spots. So you can ask locals about the wind and weather conditions in a particular spot before you go. Sometimes this can be incredibly useful and works even better than the weather forecast because the locals have lived in the same place for years, if not all their lives, are constantly watching the weather, and know all its features and patterns.

Spot chat of Nazare surfing spot, Portugal, in the for iOS


Text: Ivan Kuznetsov, an outdoor journalist, editor and writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland, with 10 years of professional experience. His favorite sports are hiking, cycling and sauna. Read his other articles

Cover photo: Shalom de Leon / Unsplash

You can also find useful

What is a weather forecast and how does it work

How to get the most accurate weather forecast

How to use the weather forecast for yachting

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