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Wilmington, NC

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Frying Pan Shoals Climatology

Wind Direction and Speed

The yearly average wind speed at Frying Pan Shoals is 15 knots*.  The highest average wind speed occurs in January (18 knots), while the lowest occurs in August (13 knots).  Wind rose plots show two main prevailing wind directions for Frying Pan Shoals.  During the September through March the flow is dominated by North to Northeast flow, while from April through August the flow is mainly from the Southwest.  The southwest wind is likely a function the of the Bermuda High during the warm season, while the northerly flow is likely a result of an increase in the number of cold frontal passages and coastal troughs that occur during the cool season.

Extremes: Highest Recorded Wind Speed  107.7 knots (123 mph)  Sep 5, 1996 (Hurricane Fran) 

* The anemometer height was at 44.2 meters when the equipment was located on the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower (1984-2003).

Graph of Average Wind Speed at Frying Pan Tower

Wind Rose Plots:   Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec     (Animation)

Histograms:           Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec     (Animation)

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Page Last Modified July 31, 2005
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