Direction of wind in forecasts: Are the winds coming from or going to the direction mentioned?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
When the wind’s direction is given, are the winds coming from or going to the direction mentioned?

Artie Van Enter, Chicago

Dear Artie,
Winds are always named for the direction from which they blow. The best way to picture this is to stand so the wind is blowing into your face. The direction you are facing names the wind direction.
A compass is divided into 360 degrees, and advancing 90 degrees changes the direction from “due north” to “due east” (90 degrees), then “due south” (180 degrees) and finally “due west” (270 degrees). The “N”, “E”, “S” and “W” designations apply 10 degrees either side of these headings. “NE”, “SE”, “SW” or “NW” occur 40-60 degrees either side of those headings. “NNE”, “ENE”, etc. designations apply to 20 degree increments in between.

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