We oftentimes talk about wind shear as if you already know what it is — but you may find yourself asking what is wind shear when you hear the term.

Never fear, we’ve got a video about that very thing.

Simply put, wind shear is the change of direction and speed with winds with heigh within the atmosphere.


Here’s the official definition from the NWS:

The rate at which wind velocity changes from point to point in a given direction (as, vertically). The shear can be speed shear (where speed changes between the two points, but not direction), direction shear (where direction changes between the two points, but not speed) or a combination of the two.
-NWS Glossary