Winds Around Cyclones
flowing counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere

Wind barbs are useful for locating low pressure centers on surface weather maps.

Since winds flow in a counterclockwise direction around low pressure centers, look for a group of stations where the wind barbs reflect this type of wind pattern. For example, a counterclockwise wind pattern was observed in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota (highlighted by the red arrow).

The low pressure center was located near the center (similar to the center of a whirlpool) with winds flowing counterclockwise around it.

So when trying to find a low pressure center on a surface weather map, use the wind barbs to identify a counterclockwise wind pattern and the low pressure center will be found near the center of circulation.

Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

air masses