Wind Vane Facts

Wind Vane Facts
A wind vane is a tool used to measure the direction that the wind is blowing. Wind vanes are also referred to as weather vanes, and weathercocks. One of the earliest weather vanes was the bronze Triton clutching a rod in his hand atop the Tower of the Winds - a monument in Ancient Greece built in 50 B.C. which featured a wind vane, water clock, and sundials. The rooster became a symbol atop wind vanes because Pope Gregory I determined it was Christianity's most suitable emblem. The rooster spread likely because of this, but others believe it was derived from Goths or that it was a sun emblem.
Interesting Wind Vane Facts:
In the 9th century it was decreed by Pope Nicholas I that churches must have the rooster on their steeples or domes in recognition of the prophecy of Christ that Peter would betray him. In the prophecy Peter denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed.
Weather vanes throughout history have had North, East, West, and South on them to allow for the determination of wind direction.
Not all historical weather vanes had roosters. St Peter upon Cornhill in London, England has a key and a gridiron sits atop St. Lawrence Jewry.
The ornamental pointers of the older weather vanes have been replaced by modern versions of weather vanes that have arrows and they send wind signals to a remote station that reads the direction.
The largest working weather vane in the world is the Tio Pepe sherry ad in Jerez, Spain.
Montague, Michigan claims to have the biggest weather vane (standard design) at 48 feet in height and 26 feet in length. It has a ship and arrow design.
A wind vane in Whitehorse, Yukon is a contender for the world's largest weather vane title in Guinness World Records with its Douglas DC-3 (airplane) sitting on a swiveling support at the Yukon Transportation Museum. If it gains this title it will replace the Tip Pepe sherry ad in Jerez, Spain.
Wind vanes provide valuable information for air traffic controllers and pilots, who rely on wind measurements for doing their jobs safely. Many of these flight professionals prefer to use wind vanes because they like to see the wind's direction visually. Wind vanes are seen at large airports and tiny airstrips all around the world.
Wind vanes are also used for decoration on tall buildings or can be seen atop farmhouses in rural areas.
Farmers have relied on wind vanes for centuries because of the importance of wind and weather on their farms.
Throughout history wind vanes have been used by farmers, fishermen, navies, armies, pilots, fleets of shipping boats, and as decoration on homes and barns, on top of churches, and tall buildings today.
Wind vanes can provide information about the wind direction but they do not provide information about what the wind changes or steadiness means. Because of this wind vanes today can be mounted to provide information that is combined with information from an anemometer to measure wind speed. They are often mounted on the same vertical rod as the wind vane and are able to be coordinated to provide a combined readout of direction and speed.

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