What’s it all mean?
The accompanying diagrams may seem horribly technical, but they’re quite easy to interpret. The filled pink circle in the compass dial shows the prevailing wind direction, while the number in the centre is the wind speed in metres/sec. (Conversion tables below.)
The pink and black dots in the portion of the graph under the compass dial show how the wind direction and wind speed have varied over time. Any figure in excess of 10 metres/second (36 km/h; 22 mph) means it’s too windy for the MOA telescope to operate.
What’s that in miles/hour or Fahrenheit?
For conversion to commonly used units such as kilometres/hour, miles/hour or Fahrenheit, please consult the tables (rounded to the nearest unit) at the bottom of this page.
Safety in adverse wind conditions
Earth & Sky does not generally conduct tours on Mt John when the wind speed is above 20 m/s and the Astro Café closes if the speed continuously exceeds 25 m/s — it’s just not pleasant or safe to walk around the summit under those conditions.
Why is the date and time wrong?
In case you’re wondering why the date and time information on the graphs doesn’t correspond to local time in New Zealand, it’s because the observatory uses what’s known as Universal Time — a global time reference based on the rotation of the Earth loosely synonymous with Greenwich Mean Time in England. Universal Time is 12 hours behind New Zealand Standard Time, or 13 hours behind New Zealand Daylight Time. [Return to Top]
Wind speed conversion table
Temperature conversion table
Earth & Sky Ltd., P.O. Box 112, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand.
Phone: +64 (0)3 6806960 Fax: +64 (0)3 6806950
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