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What Is An Anemometer?

What is an anemometer, and what does it measure? The most common use for an anemometer that you might have heard of is in weather reporting in regards to wind velocity. You might have heard the term thrown out casually during a severe weather event, but what is it and how does it work? Let’s dive further into these questions below.

What Does An Anemometer Measure?

What is an anemometer, and what does an anemometer measure? The anemometer definition is a device used to measure wind speed.

Anemometers report wind speed in miles per hour (mph), kilometers per hour (kph), meters per second (m/s), or knots.

How Does An Anemometer Work?

Anemometers measure wind speed by the amount of wind pressure against a surface, such as a cup or a propeller, or by using sonic pulses.

A mechanical anemometer contains a wheel with cups or a propeller at the end of the spokes of the wheel. One of them contains a magnet. Each time the magnet passes a switch, it makes a recording. This can give an extremely accurate reading of the wind speed.

There are several types of anemometers as well. A Sonic Anemometer, for example, uses disturbances and sound waves to calculate wind speed. It has no moving parts and relies on sonic pulse technology to measure both wind speed and direction.

There are also Laser Doppler anemometers, plate and tube anemometers, wire anemometers, vane anemometers, and other designs.

The Davis mechanical anemometer has sealed, stainless steel ball bearings that give it a long life under continuous use. It is rugged, but it is also accurate enough to measure the lightest breeze or change in wind speed.

Who Uses Anemometers?

An anemometer is an excellent tool for anyone interested in weather. Those who fly drones, RC planes, or helicopters need to gauge wind speed to prevent accidents. Anemometers are a regular feature on ships because wind speed determines wave height.

They are also a necessary part of weather stations, such as Davis’ Vantage Vue or Vantage Pro2. The anemometer on a Davis Vantage Pro2 or Vantage Vue Sensor Suites, which include a wind vane, has been wind-tunnel tested to up to 200 mph.

For perspective, the highest wind gust ever recorded by a personal weather station (199 mph) was via a Davis anemometer, during Hurricane Irma when it hit the Leeward Islands in September 2017.

Davis’s Vantage Pro2 Anemometer can be used as a remote wind station with a sensor transmitter as a replacement for the anemometer on a wireless Vantage Pro2 sensor suite, or as a stand-alone wind station with WeatherLink Live or EnviroMonitor.

Davis Instruments has been in the business of making instruments for personal and professional use for over 50 years. All their products are known for their reliability, accuracy, and durability in the field.

Definition of Weather Terms - Full List