Information Resources and Technology Management


You are invited to read the definitions of terms used in this data standard.

Wind Direction
The direction from which the wind is blowing.
Type Alpha
Syntax  N = North
 S  = South
 E  = East
W = West

 NE  =  Northeast
 NW = Northwest
 SE   = Southeast
 SW = Southwest
 VRB = Variable *

* Wind direction may be considered variable if, during the 2-minute evaluation period, the wind speed is 6 knots (7 mph, Beaufort code <2) or less. In addition, the wind direction shall be considered variable if, during the 2-minute evaluation period, it varies by 60 degrees or more when the average wind speed is greater than 6 knots (7 mph, Beaufort code >2).

Recommended Field Name WINDDIR
Values The values to be used for this data element are provided in the Syntax.
Source Biological Monitoring and Database Team, FWS Regions 3 and 5
Historical Data For information on past versions of this standard, contact the Chief Data Officer
Part 270, FW 6, Data Management and Standards, has been superceded by Part 274, FW 2, Establishing Service Data Standards.

Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1,Chapter 5, Wind, Section 5.4.2, Variable Wind Direction

Use Instructions

As of the approval date and whenever applicable, this data element will be used in any new automated system, data set, database, or information application, including new Geographic Information System (GIS) data and applications. This data element will also be used in any major modifications to existing systems or versions of these data-related items that use a coding scheme to record wind direction.

Service staff are strongly encouraged to utilize this data element in existing systems, data sets, databases, and information applications when appropriate. Where existing systems and data-related items are not in compliance, they should be modified to achieve compatibility and implement this data standard.

Approval Date
July 19, 2007
Validation Date
February 14, 2011
Data Steward Todd Sutherland, Information Technology Specialist, Biological Monitoring and Database Team, National Wildlife Refuge System, Region 3.


Last updated: May 9, 2019