Thursday, July 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Make a tool to measure the wind

By
February 10, 2011 |

If you have ever wondered how fast the wind blows in a pleasant breeze or in tree-toppling gusts (like those from earlier this week), make a simple tool that measures wind speed and use it whenever wind curiosity strikes.

The instructions below guide you to make something called an anemometer that you can take anywhere to find out how fast the wind is blowing at a particular place and time.

Anemos means “wind” in Greek, and anemometers are devices that measure the speed of wind. Commercial anemometers that meteorologists use can be very accurate, but even the simple plan below gets you pretty close.

To make an anemometer, you will need string, fishing line, tape, scissors, a ruler, a protractor, a ping pong ball, a piece of cardboard and a pen.

The ping pong ball will hang down from the protractor on fishing line, so that when the wind blows the ball, the fishing line will line up with an angle on the protractor. From the angle, you will be able to estimate wind speed.

Tape one end of the fishing line to the ping pong ball. From the spot where the tape meets the ball, measure 11 ¾ inches along the fishing line, and hold your fingers on that spot to mark where you should tape the other end of the fishing line.

The protractor should be upside down, so the arc looks like a smile. Across the top, straight part of the protractor, there will be a center-line. Tape the fishing line to this center-line of the protractor.

To attach fishing line more securely, fold the loose end of the fishing line over the top of the protractor and tape it again on the opposite side from the first piece of tape. Cut off any extra.

Check that when your protractor’s straight side is horizontal, the fishing line hangs straight down the center, past the 90-degree mark on the arc.

Tape the protractor to a piece of cardboard to make it easier to hold. Write on your cardboard the wind speeds that correspond to certain angles on the protractor, listed below.

Angle (degrees) 90 86 75 59 43 31 23
Speed (mph) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Bring a piece of string outside and watch it hang from your hand for several seconds, moving around in the wind. The direction the string spends most of its time in is the direction of the wind.

Hold on to the edge of the cardboard and point your anemometer into the wind. This will be the exact opposite direction that the string was pointing, since you want to face into the wind.

Notice what angle on the protractor the fishing line lines up with, and find the corresponding approximate speed on the chart that you made. Repeat on different days.

When using your anemometer, you might want to put your numbers in context by thinking about other speeds you are familiar with. For example, an average person walks about 2 mph and runs about 6 mph. Winds above 40 mph can knock trees and signs over.

On windless days, your anemometer can also be fun to see how fast you can blow air out of your mouth. A sneeze comes out of a person’s nose and mouth at between 35 to 100 mph.

No time to make an anemometer? No room in your wallet, purse or backpack? You can use the Beaufort Wind Force Scale, online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/beaufort.html, to describe wind speed based on observable land or sea conditions.

———

Tomorrow, Astronomy Club: A free meeting, suitable for all ages, will begin at 7 p.m. at Explorit’s Nature Center, 3141 Fifth St., Davis.  This month, the group will discuss NASA’s Space Shuttle program as the space shuttles’ final flights are slated for this year. Telescopes will be set up outside, weather permitting, for viewing after the main presentation is over.

— Explorit Science Center’s 3141 Fifth St. site is the location for programs for groups, astronomy club meetings, birthday parties and Summer Science Camp. It is also the hub for Explorit’s traveling programs that reach an 18-county region.  The site is open to the public for special events and to groups by reservation. For more information, call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org.

Comments

comments

.

News

Local therapists bring ‘Daring Greatly’ movement to Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis area youths learn wilderness survival skills

By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Governor says immigration solution is a priority

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Firefighters keep Yosemite blaze far from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Police nab three for vehicle theft

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Crews battle grass fire near Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Sorting out the claims after pipe break: Who pays?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
As farmland subsides, aquifer worries mount

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Pogledich named Yolo County counsel

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Tuleyome launches Kickstarter campaign to publish a children’s nature book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Davis teen on California team for national horticulture competition

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Truth and authenticity on radio program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Senior sing-along held monthly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Forum

A rose by any other name

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Ross Douthat: Democrat, Republican patterns are changing

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Civilians are innocent victims

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Thanks for your kindnesses

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Questions, questions, questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

River Cats snap three-game losing streak

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis Water Polo U10 girls are golden

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Aggie Silva mixed school and strikes; wins Reno tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lucky No. 7: Giants snap losing streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Davis Rugby teams wrap up summer season

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
DHS tryout schedule updated; physical packets due

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hammel struggles in A’s loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

Happy 103rd birthday!

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A2

 
Fay Libet: 100 years young

By Spencer Ault | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Future subscriber: Sonya Theresa Arnold

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wedding: Alpers – Halprin Jackson

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Engagement: Snyder-Oerman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Arts

Landscape exhibition returns to Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Hear live music at Monticello

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
New KDRT show features touring musicians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Hot City heats up Winters gazebo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Enjoy some Mischief at First Saturday event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

British organist to play in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Native American dancers to perform in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Winters stages ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, July 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6