By Leslie Goldman & Cove Sturtevant
Did you know that wind speed can be determined by measuring the speed of sound? Since sound is “carried” by the wind, the speed of sound will be faster in the direction that the wind is blowing. These measurements can be collected using sonic anemometers. The sonic anemometer mounted at the top of NEON flux towers measures horizontal and vertical wind speed, and sonic anemometers mounted at lower levels of the towers measure horizontal wind speed. Measurements are collected in the same fashion across all NEON towers allowing for comparisons between sites, and preliminary wind speed data are currently available from many field sites.