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Backing vs. veering of winds

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I came across a question the other day; if the wind is backing with height, will the direction change clockwise or clockwise?  

 

I had answered clockwise, however, I guess the answer was counterclockwise and this sort of got me a little confused and thinking about it further.  I went to theweatherprediction.com to refresh my memory on backed vs veering winds.  

 

Over the year I had gathered that backed winds would be like going from SE at the sfc and then say SW up around 925/850 to westerly at 700/500mb...in which case would be a clockwise change with height.  Over the years reading posts and AFD's and such, anytime there was a wind profile similar to what I described above, the term "backed winds" was used.  And backed winds is good for helicity and supercell t'storms. So with this, veering would be the opposite.  

 

After reading around it's actually just the opposite...veering winds are winds which turn from like SE or SW to westerly aloft (clockwise) and backed winds are winds which go from say SW or S to SE aloft (counterclockwise).  

 

This is what now has me confused...so everytime I had seen mentioned or mentioned myself that winds going from SE or S to SW or W were backed winds, that was incorrect?  

 

 

 

 

 

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I came across a question the other day; if the wind is backing with height, will the direction change clockwise or clockwise?  

 

I had answered clockwise, however, I guess the answer was counterclockwise and this sort of got me a little confused and thinking about it further.  I went to theweatherprediction.com to refresh my memory on backed vs veering winds.  

 

Over the year I had gathered that backed winds would be like going from SE at the sfc and then say SW up around 925/850 to westerly at 700/500mb...in which case would be a clockwise change with height.  Over the years reading posts and AFD's and such, anytime there was a wind profile similar to what I described above, the term "backed winds" was used.  And backed winds is good for helicity and supercell t'storms. So with this, veering would be the opposite.  

 

After reading around it's actually just the opposite...veering winds are winds which turn from like SE or SW to westerly aloft (clockwise) and backed winds are winds which go from say SW or S to SE aloft (counterclockwise).  

 

This is what now has me confused...so everytime I had seen mentioned or mentioned myself that winds going from SE or S to SW or W were backed winds, that was incorrect?  

 

It's possible those mentions of backed winds were in reference to backing of winds in time. This can be a sign of significant falling surface pressures to the west which would cause an increase in the easterly component of the surface flow. If the surface wind becomes more easterly (say southerly to southeasterly for example), backing in time has occurred. Backing surface winds in time are favorable for severe weather because they increase shear and may also increase low-level convergence.

 

One of my undergrad met professors would say winds that veer with height and back (at low-levels) with time are favorable for supercells. That helped me remember the difference between backing and veering winds.

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It's possible those mentions of backed winds were in reference to backing of winds in time. This can be a sign of significant falling surface pressures to the west which would cause an increase in the easterly component of the surface flow. If the surface wind becomes more easterly (say southerly to southeasterly for example), backing in time has occurred. Backing surface winds in time are favorable for severe weather because they increase shear and may also increase low-level convergence.

 

One of my undergrad met professors would say winds that veer with height and back (at low-levels) with time are favorable for supercells. That helped me remember the difference between backing and veering winds.

 

This is an awesome response!  I completely understand now...and the reference of the winds with respect to time makes complete and perfect sense.  Thanks!!

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