UPDATED 4:35 afternoon ET Feb. 15, 2021 released 3:29 afternoon ET Jan. 19, 2021 published 3:29 pm EST Jan. 19, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — A weather vane is one instrument provided to display the direction the wind is punch from. It is among the easiest weather instruments created and also it has been supplied since ancient times.

You are watching: How does a wind vane work

The weather vane is consisted of of a tail and also arrow. The tail fin captures the wind and the arrow points toward the direction the wind is blowing FROM.

If the arrow on the weather vane is pointing north climate it way there is a phibìc wind. In various other words, the wind is blow from phibìc to south.

Knowing the direction the wind is blow from can be really useful for a range of reasons specifically for farmers, pilots and meteorologists.

Meteorologists usage wind direction to gain a feeling of what kind of weather is coming. Generally speaking, cold waiting is situated to the north and also warmer wait is located more south.

If the weather vane reflects wind blowing from the north, one have the right to say colder air is moving in. This is particularly true if the wind direction recently adjusted to the north, commonly a authorize that a cold front simply passed by.

Pilots use one more tool the works much like a weather vane dubbed a wind sock. It speak pilots what direction the wind is punch from so they understand which runway to usage for a safe flight.

Weather vanes are frequently accompanied by an additional weather instrument referred to as an anemometer. One anemometer steps the wind speed. It uses tiny cups that turn in a circle and also the quicker the cup spin, the solid the wind.

Weather vanes space widely offered as decorative pieces too. A for sure bet to uncover one is on the roof of one older farm building.

Let’s get started and make our own weather vane! If you live on the coast, you deserve to use the weather vane to view if the wind is blowing toward or far from the coast. You have the right to use the understanding to view if the sea breeze moved through!

Experiment: creating a Weather Vane

Purpose: Build a weather tool that can tell united state the wind direction

What you need:

- 2 paper plates

- 1 poster board or thick construction paper

- 1 plastic straw

- Scissors

- Modeling clay

- glue or tape

- Compass

- mite or colored pencils

- Ruler

- directly Pin

- Pencil with brand-new eraser


1. Cut 2 slits in ~ the end of the plastic straw. This will be offered to location the tail fin and arrow in later.

2. Draw the end the tail fin and also arrow on the poster paper. Use the ruler to make straight lines. The arrow will it is in in the form of a triangle and also the tail fin will look similar. Refer to the video for an ext details.

3. Stick the arrowhead and also tail fin right into the slits located on each end of the straw.

4. With one adult, take it the right pin and also puncture it through the center of the straw.

5. Stick the pin into the optimal of the pencils eraser. Make certain there is enough room between the eraser, straw and also the peak of the pin so the weather vane spins freely. Do adjustments together necessary.

6. Grab a document plate and place it upside down. Use the leader to measure wherein the facility of the plate is located and also mark it.

7. Use the ruler to draw perpendicular present intersecting in the center. This will certainly be offered for wind directions (north, south, east, west).

8. Decorate the document plate together you wish.

9. Take the pencil and puncture a hole in the center of the plate.

10. Use the second record plate and lay the in front of you through the suitable side up.

11. Take a grasp of modeling clay and place that on peak of the plate. This is going to be your weight to organize the weather vane up.

12. Stick the pencil through the modeling clay

13. Push the decorated plate down and also you have the right to use glue or tape come stick the 2 plates together.

14. The weather vane should have the ability to stand openly at this point.

15. Place the weather vane outside and also use the compass to complement the north side of the record plate v magnetic north.

16. Observe findings. If the wind arrow is pointing east then the wind is coming FROM the east.

Results: A functioning weather vane that have the right to be provided to tell the direction in i beg your pardon the wind is blowing from.

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Conclusion: The weather vane is just one of the oldest tools ever created dating earlier to the start of man-kind. The straightforward technology is offered to tell what direction the wind is blowing from. A sudden adjust in wind direction could be a sign that a cold prior or sea breeze boundary moved through.