About wind barbs
Wind barb graphic Wind barbs are simply a conventient way to represent both wind speed and direction in a compact graphical form. Vectors also work to some degree but it is more difficult to discern the magnitude when viewing vectors. For this reason, meteorologists prefer the use of wind barbs. The graphic here clearly shows how to read a wind barb. Meteorologists are also accustomed to nautical miles per hour (knots) for the magnitude of the wind. Convert to statute miles per hour (mph) by adding 15% to the value in knots. Example: 60 knots = 60 + 9 mph. [Just remember to figure it the same way you would figure a 15% tip at a restaurant by taking 10% and then halve that value   ;-)   ]