Where can I acquire global wind (speed and direction) data?

Preferably in some kind of GIS format and free of charge.

  • You could check out the sources quoted for this great weather visualisation at http://earth.nullschool.net/
    – user965586
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 16:20
  • While I agree that is a very cool visualization (even thought about posting it as a comment myself, since it was the first Google result), this doesn't really answer the question and would be better as a comment. At best it is a link-only answer, which you could improve by listing those sources here within your answer. It would be even better if you provided links to those sources and specific pages where the data is available. If it even is data and not a model.
    – Chris W
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 16:25
  • Guess I'll learn to do better. Maybe you could have beat me to it and posted the link...
    – user965586
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 16:30
  • Indeed it is a very nice looking visualization, but my main difficulty here is getting the data myself. Checking out the sources didn't get me very far. It shouldn't be as a WFS or WMS, simply a vector or raster layer displaying information on wind conditions globally. The spatial and temporal resolution would be something that i had to look into deeper after finding a good source.
    – aneh
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    Can you make this a bit clearer? For example, are you looking for climatic data (e.g. mean / deviation by month), or by near-future forecasts? Do you need surface (e.g. 2m or 10m) or on pressure levels at specific altitudes? It might help if you can say what you actually want the data for.
    – BradHards
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


The available free gridded global data mostly relates to near-surface wind speed and direction over global oceans. Free global land surface wind speed datasets are few.

None that I know come in GIS format, as each cell has two data values, one for speed and one for vector - but more digging might provide disaggregation and the possibility of mapping at least speed as a raster dataset in GIS.

For ocean data, there are various satellite scatterometer datasets. Try:

QuikSCAT: http://www.remss.com/missions/qscat; https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/quikscat-near-sea-surface-wind-speed-and-direction; http://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/dataset/QSCAT_LEVEL_2B_OWV_COMP_12?ids=Collections&values=QUIKSCAT

Here is an example of QuikSCAT data, from RemSS above: enter image description here

There is also ASCAT: http://www.remss.com/missions/ascat

and there is other microwave radiometer data, e.g. the Global Blended Sea Winds data: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/marineocean-data/blended-global/blended-sea-winds http://www.remss.com/measurements/wind/wspd-1-deg-product

For land data, try the Global Offline Land-surface Data-set: http://www.iges.org/gold/

Some countries have their own land surface wind data, e.g. for Australia, see: CSIRO Near-Surface Wind Speed data: https://data.csiro.au/dap/landingpage?execution=e1s2&_eventId=viewDescription, and BOM Average wind velocity maps: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_averages/wind-velocity/index.jsp


For Global Wind data I would recommend the Global Wind Atlas by the World Bank Group. The tool contains data on wind speed, capacity factor and much more all in GIS format and free of charge.

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