From ancient times, the direction of winds gave people some idea about the incoming weather. Even in a technologically advanced era such as the 21st century, the meteorologist never underestimates the importance of wind direction in making weather predictions. However, the difference is the use of better technology and scientific knowhow to assess the wind direction and the impact that it may have on the prevailing weather.
According to meteorologists, a particular region will have a seasonal wind direction known as the ‘prevailing wind’ observed for a designated period of the year. When the prevailing wind stays as usual, meteorologists believe the weather to stay ‘typical’ for that particular period. However, a change in the wind direction would mean something different from the ‘typical’ weather pattern and one needs to understand several other details apart from the direction of the wind to make a prediction.
Meteorologist Jeff Haby describes the effects of wind direction taking Dallas as the example. Accordingly, towards the southeast of Dallas is the Gulf of Mexico, which is a moisture source. The east is typically warm and humid. Towards the north on the other hand are the plains which can bring cooler air in the cool season. At the same time, towards the southwest and south is a typically dry climate with high elevations. Meanwhile towards the south of Dallas, is the transitional area between the cost and the dry portions of Texas. Thus, with the geography of Dallas, a meteorologist is able to predict the following based on the present wind direction.
If the wind originates from the northern direction, it tends to be cooler and drier. The wind from southwest will bring further dry air across Dallas. In contrast, the wind from southwest will bring in warm but humid air. Thus, based on the direction, even an amateur weather enthusiast could also predict what kind of weather should prevail in the coming days.
However, the wind direction alone cannot predict the weather accurately in some situations, the reason being that the wind speed and the presence of low-pressure areas around the region as in the case of cyclonical changes could make matters more complicated. In such instances, it may be difficult to predict exactly what the weather changes be without considering other relevant parameters. However, a tentative prediction would always be possible if a person has a basic understanding of the yearly weather pattern and the surrounding geography.
In conclusion, the ancient wisdom regarding changing wind direction and the associated weather changes does not differ much from the present understanding although based on many other parameters, the modern day weather predictions have become much more accurate than what had been experienced in the olden days.