Jan 20 2013

Wind Effect

Published by at 6:50 am under Weather & Sky

As I write this morning before dawn, the wind is whipping around the house as a winter storm approaches from the west.

If I was at the roof peak I'd be blown away.  The wind is even faster up there (see red lines at top) where it converges to clear the house.

Outside my window on the downwind side, the air is swirling in updrafts like the turquoise lines at left.

I suppose I could find a few calm spots within the swirls if I went outdoors to experiment, but it's not worth it.  At particularly gusty moments I hear garbage cans rattle down the alley in the dark.


(diagram by Barani on Wikimedia Commons.  Click the image to see the original)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Wind Effect”

  1. George Bercikon 20 Jan 2013 at 10:43 am

    Congratulations Kate, I do believe you’ve hit upon the secret of heavier-than- air flight,and a principle of fluid mechanics. You possess wonderful powers of observation.

  2. Kate St. Johnon 20 Jan 2013 at 10:47 am

    Fortunately my roof doesn’t want to lift off!

  3. Geneon 20 Jan 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Great graph of how air pressure can very as air flows over and around a house.

    Instead of turning on the AC on a warm Spring day one can open a couple of windows that have different pressures and walla! you have nice fresh air flow. Experiment this Spring and save on the electric bill. Your curtains will tell you if you have the correct windows open. One window will be bringing in air while the other is letting the air out. And the added bonus is you will hear your favorite birds singing too!

    Come Spring come!

  4. Shannonon 15 Feb 2017 at 12:13 am


    I have been eagerly researching your blog since coming across this photo of ACTUAL wind effects on a home. I am a professional dog trainer with a love of all animals so needless to say I got side tracked loving all of your bird and nature photos.

    Longest of stories short, I have been fighting my insurance carrier for 4 years now about structural damage to my home following 59-64 mph documented, sustained winds which are extraordinarily rare here. I have a 70 plus page structural engineer’s report that the insurance company has blatantly disregarded. The engineer concluded this very effect on my home from the same direction as if my home was oriented and generally designed with the roof face windward just as yours is. My home is 2 story, the roof and second story sits above the tree line, I am on acreage with no structures to slow the wind, and the swirling updraft matches the engineer’s assessment and pattern of structural damage to a tee. I wanted to ask you 1) do you know how strong the winds were that day? 2) may I use this photo in support of my case? 3) is there anyway you might be willing to spare a few minutes to speak with me. I would be so ever grateful. Next week marks 4 years to the date I have been fighting insurance companies.

    Thank you for your time

  5. Kate St. Johnon 15 Feb 2017 at 5:33 am

    Shannon, sorry to hear you suffered wind damage and are having so much trouble. I’d forgotten that I wrote about the wind that day because it did no damage. Our house, which is 3.5 stories tall and surrounded by other houses and trees, has never suffered wind damage, so I have no experience of these things and cannot help you. However, the diagram is free and might be of some use to you. It is on Wikimedia Commons at this link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wind_around_house_Barani_Design.gif

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