Join Date: Mar 2007
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Somewhat confusingly, not all winds are described by the direction they come from.
Local winds are often descried by the direction they are flowing, e.g. "offshore" and "onshore" breezes, "upslope" and "downslope" winds, "up" and "down" drafts. So in that respect, at least, there's no difference between how we describe these local winds and current set.
The cardinal directions used for prevailing winds are helpful because the direction from which they come gives clues to the wind's characteristics. E.g., cold dry air from the northwest, warm moist air from the southeast, etc. So in the case of prevailing winds, knowing where the flow is coming from is generally more important information than where the wind is going.
The other thing is that -- for sailors at least -- the direction from which the wind blows is a vital piece of information for route planning, because it essentially defines the "no-go" zone point of sail. Also, it tells us how much fetch the wind traverses before it reaches us, giving us a better idea of sea state.
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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62
NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT