Statistics of wind direction and its increments

Eric Van Doom, Brindesh Dhruva, Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, Victor Cassella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study some elementary statistics of wind direction fluctuations in the atmosphere for a wide range of time scales (10-4 sec to 1 h), and in both vertical and horizontal planes. In the plane parallel to the ground surface, the direction time series consists of two parts: a constant drift due to large weather systems moving with the mean wind speed, and fluctuations about this drift. The statistics of the direction fluctuations show a rough similarity to Brownian motion but depend, in detail, on the wind speed. This dependence manifests itself quite clearly in the statistics of wind-direction increments over various intervals of time. These increments are intermittent during periods of low wind speeds but Gaussian-like during periods of high wind speeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1534
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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