Wind Shear (Aug
Wind shear is the result of streams of air flow at different
altitudes. It ranges from a low of 0 to 5, thru 20-30 to highs of 40-50.
For example, if there is an easterly flow of air at 30
mph at 40,000 ft altitude, and a westerly flow of air at 25mph at 20,000
ft. altitude, the wind shear is 5.
High wind shears tend to disrupt smaller tropical depressions
as they are forming, and we are seeing a lot of that this summer.
You can look at a map of current wind shear here.
It's a little hard to figure out at first. Here's how.
+ Find the white outlines of the land so that you can see the
sea area you're interested in.
+ The yellow lines are like lines on a contour map. (I
hope you can read one of those!)
+ A little circle with a 5 on it is an area of low wind
shear. If you have one of those where your hurricane is developing, that's
BAD! It means that there's not enuf wind sheer to disrupt it.
+ If the wind shear seems to be high where your storm is
developing (and that will be a white cloud on the map) you will probably see the
storm "poof" -- disappear!
Here is an article from
the Orlando Sentinel discussing wind sheer.
Thanks to Dr. Peter Singfield for this interesting addition
to hurricane watching! You can read about him here.