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Wind speed on a summit

Having just completed three GM summits with Paul G4MD under cold windy conditions with the occasional snow shower, the subject of wind speed came up during our discussions. Most of us think we know what speed the wind is, but I wonder whether anyone regularly takes an anemometer on activations to check. With prices of hand held units of being relatively low, I am considering adding one to my kit. I usually take a note of the temperature when it is cold, so why not the wind speed when it is windy. One more thing to do on a summit yes, but the results could be interesting.


I’ve been on Meall Tarmachan in blustery conditions. Wind speed was measured at 51mph in a persistent and long gust. No anemometer anymore.

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What? blown from hand

I remember reading that the old Ben Nevis observatory held the wind speed record for the UK for a very long time: apparently it went up to 120 mph in one storm before it blew away!

For those with an iOS device, I can recommend the app “Windy”. I don’t know if it’s available for other OS. One less gadget to carry providing you have a data connection when you use it.

Obviously designed before the “times by 7 factor” came into being. Perhaps the designer of the local internet installation up on Cairnsmore of Carsphairn GM/SS-038 ought to take note…

Perhaps it’s this one?

73 Ed.

Wind speed on top of a hill ? That differs.
I live at 760m NN on top of a hill.
Often we think it is calm when standing in the garden.
Then look to the meter at some 20m hight just under the
aerial und you see the anemometer rotating quickly.

So measure wind to the aerial or to the operator ?

73 de Mike, dj5av

Mine has a different icon (red).
As they say “other makes are available”

I did a SOTA activation at a summit in Mid Wales. It was a bit breezy and after a while all the turbines on the hill automatically feathered. The information board at the entrance to the wind farm indicated that this happened at 56 mph. Guessing that was at turbine height.

I bought a used Kestrel 2500 off Ebay a year or so ago.

That device measures barometric pressure, altitude, air temp, wind speed, etc. It’s a pocket sized weather station! I got it as I was always curious how hard the wind was blowing and what the temperature was on many of the Colorado summits I’ve activated.

It also serves as a backup navigation device which tells me the approximate altitude in the event my other electronic tool fails (I also carry a paper map and compass). It measures altitude based on barometric pressure so I need to remember to calibrate it at a known elevation (usually the trailhead). I seem to forget to do that a lot ;-).

73, Brad

Yes, I usually take one with me.

The one mentioned from eBay is quite good and is all you really need … but Kestrel is about the best (and 10 times more expensive).
e.g. https://www.r-p-r.co.uk/kestrel/2000-handheld-thermo-anemometer.php
(similar to the one Brad mentioned but without the barometer)


Forecast != Actual

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The trickier part is that the wind should be measured 10m AGL on a pole to avoid a surface effect. There is also the wind gradient daytime and nighttime to consider.

73 de
Andrew G4VFL

It’s a professional series… but probably beyond the effort required for an SOTA

Yes I always have an anemometer while on the hills. On Monday when I arrived on Byne Hill a few minutes before midday it was blowing constant at 35 mph. After talking to you and before leaving summit it had increased to almost 50 mph.
Back down at sea level it was just the lightest of breeze and barely a ripple of the sea.
The meter I have also displays temperature and gives you wind chill factor when temp is near zero.
Bet you both are glad you came at the beginning on the week and not now. Girvan managed a quarter of an inch of snow and as is well known around here, if we get snow the rest of country is in deep sh… trouble.

It’s best to find a used one at less than half the cost! At that point it won’t cost more than a descent altimeter.

73, Brad

What about on the way up :wink:


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