On a breezy or windy Wyoming day, which is most days, there are many ways we can tell how fast the wind is blowing just by looking at the signs around us. You can ask your phone after to see how close you were.

If there is a windsock near where you are and it is the type that has stripes, that is all you will need for wind speed and direction.

Obviously the big hole is pointing to where the wind is coming from. The little hole is pointing to where the wind is going to.

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Each stripe is a different wind speed estimate.

1) If just the fist red stripe is sticking out the rest is sagging. That is roughly a 3 knot wind, or 3.5 miles per hour.

2). If the first red and the first white stripe are lifted, the rest is sagging. That is a 6 knot wind or 7 miles per hour.

3). Three stripes lifted into the wind, two sagging. 9 knot wind or 10 miles per hour.

4). Four stripes lifted by the wind is 13 knots or 14 miles per hour.

5). If the wind sock is sticking straight out the wind is blowing at 15 knots, or 17 miles per hour, at least.

I'll just toss in that if the wind sock is shredding or has vanished all together, you might want to go back inside.

Many windsocks in Wyoming do not have stripes on them. Usually they are for a different purpose. Oil and gas wells, for example, have them around their works sites so should an hazardous gas get released the workers can quickly see which way the wind is blowing and run the opposite way.

Look for future posts on how to judge wind speed just by looking at the sings around you.