Trail in Namibia Trail in Namibia

Wind Rose

My thanks to everyone who came on the Beginner’s Guide to Natural Navigation course at West Dean College on Saturday.

An extra thanks to Brian Baker who sent me an image of a ‘wind rose’. A wind rose is a clever ways of distilling lots of data over a long period into one image. The one above shows the direction, frequency and strength of the lower winds we experience in the UK over the course of one year.

It does a brilliant visual job of demonstrating the key points about winds everywhere:

They may seem random and they can come from any direction and at various strengths on any one day, but over time there are trends. It also shows how the gales are much more likely to have come from one direction than any other – the SW quadrant in the UK.

It is these trends that natural navigators find so useful on every type of the Earth’s surface: in open countryside, in woodland, on the ocean or surrounded by deserts of sand and ice.