An instrument that measures speed and direction of wind.

Credit: Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Anemometers, or wind sensors, are instruments that measure the speed and direction of the wind. Anemometers are typically mounted on towers that receive unobstructed air movement, such as on ridgelines and other high elevation locations. Although anemometers record real-time wind speed and direction, they generally report an average wind speed and direction and a maximum gust each hour. Riming of the propeller blades of an anemometer sometimes leads to erroneously low readings. Some anemometers are heated to prevent this from occurring.

An anemometer on a wind exposed location. Credit: Grand Teton National Park Foundation