Weather Forecast


Weather Talk: Wind at face-level is different than official wind reports

When we report the wind for Fargo or any other weather station around the region, what we are reporting is actually an average wind over a two-minute period at the instrument site. For Fargo, the site is just off the main runway at Hector International Airport.

When there is a gust of at least 10 mph more than the two-minute average, it is reported as a gust. Wind is measured "officially" in an open area 10 meters, or about 33 feet, above the ground. At this high level, the wind is less affected by terrain and localized turbulence.

It makes for a less messy observation and it is easier to compare wind at different locations, but the actual wind we experience at face-level is actually quite different than the official wind reported. At 6 feet, the wind is generally lighter but gustier than that observed at 33 feet.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

(701) 241-5387