Points of the compass

The points of the compass mark the divisions on a compass, which is primarily divided into the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. These points are further subdivided by the addition of the four intercardinal (or ordinal) directions—northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW), and northwest (NW)—to indicate the eight principal "winds". In meteorological usage, further intermediate points between the cardinal and intercardinal directions, such as north-northeast (NNE) are added to give the sixteen points of a compass rose.[1]

Compass Card B+W
32-point compass rose

At the most complete division are the full thirty-two points of the mariner's compass,[2] which adds points such as north by east (NbE; sometimes NxE) between north and north-northeast, and northeast by north (NEbN; NExN) between north-northeast and northeast. A compass point allows reference to a specific course (or azimuth) in a colloquial fashion, without having to compute or remember degrees.

The European nautical tradition retained the term "one point" to describe ​132 of a circle in such phrases as "two points to starboard". By the middle of the 18th century, the 32-point system was extended with half- and quarter-points to allow 128 directions to be differentiated.[3]

Compass Rose English North
16-point compass rose

Compass points

The names of the compass point directions follow these rules:

8-wind compass rose

  • The four cardinal directions are north (N), east (E), south (S), west (W), at 90° angles on the compass rose.
  • The four intercardinal (or ordinal) directions are formed by bisecting the angle of the cardinal directions: northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW) and northwest (NW). In English and some other languages, but not all, the name of each intercardinal is simply a combination of the cardinals that it bisects; the sequence can vary by language:[4]
    • In Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Ido, Japanese, Macedonian, Norwegian (Bokmal), Norwegian (Nynorsk), Polish, Portuguese, Romansch, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Swedish, the part meaning north or south precedes the part meaning east or west.
    • In Chinese and less commonly in Japanese, the part meaning east or west precedes the part meaning north or south.
    • In Korean, the order varies:
      • 북동 (bukdong) (北東, or northeast)
      • 동남 (dongnam) (東南, or eastsouth)
      • 서남 (seonam) (西南, or westsouth)
      • 북서 (bukseo) (北西, or northwest)
    • In Estonian, Finnish, and Telugu, the intercardinals use different words from the cardinals.
  • The eight principal winds (or main winds) are the four cardinals and four intercardinals considered together, that is: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW. Each principal wind is 45° from its two neighbours. The principal winds form the basic 8-wind compass rose.

16-wind compass rose

  • The eight half-winds are the direction points obtained by bisecting the angles between the principal winds. The half-winds are north-northeast (NNE), east-northeast (ENE), east-southeast (ESE), south-southeast (SSE), south-southwest (SSW), west-southwest (WSW), west-northwest (WNW) and north-northwest (NNW). The name of each half-wind is constructed by combining the names of the principal winds to either side, with the cardinal wind coming first and the intercardinal wind second.
  • The eight principal winds and the eight half-winds together form the 16-wind compass rose, with each compass point at a ​22 12° angle from its two neighbours.
Brosen windrose Full
32-point compass rose
Compass thumbnail
32-wind compass card, with English names

32-wind compass rose

  • The sixteen quarter-winds are the direction points obtained by bisecting the angles between the points on the 16-wind compass rose (above). The quarter-winds are: (in first quadrant) north by east (NbE), northeast by north (NEbN), northeast by east (NEbE), and east by north (EbN); (in second quadrant) east by south (EbS), southeast by east (SEbE), southeast by south (SEbS), and south by east (SbE); (in third quadrant) south by west (SbW), southwest by south (SWbS), southwest by west (SWbW), and west by south (WbS); (in fourth quadrant) west by north (WbN), northwest by west (NWbW), northwest by north (NWbN), and north by west (NbW).[5][6]
  • All of the points in the 16-wind compass rose plus the sixteen quarter-winds together form the 32-wind compass rose.
  • The name of a quarter-wind is "X by Y", where X is a principal wind and Y is a cardinal wind. As a mnemonic device, it is useful to think of "X by Y" as a shortcut for the phrase "one quarter-wind from X towards Y", where a "quarter" is ​11 14°, X is the nearest principal wind, and Y is the next (more distant) cardinal wind. So, for example, "northeast by east" means "one quarter from NE towards E", "southwest by south" means "one quarter from SW towards S", etc.

In summary, the 32-wind compass rose is yielded from the eight principal winds, eight half-winds and sixteen quarter-winds combined together, with each compass direction point at an ​11 14° angle from the next.

In the mariner's exercise of boxing the compass, all thirty-two points of the compass are named in clockwise order.[7]

Traditional names

The traditional compass rose of eight winds (and its 16-wind and 32-wind derivatives) was invented by seafarers in the Mediterranean Sea during the Middle Ages (with no obvious connection to the twelve classical compass winds of the ancient Greeks and Romans). The traditional mariner's wind names were expressed in Italian, or more precisely, the Italianate Mediterranean lingua franca common among sailors in the 13th and 14th centuries, which was principally composed of Genoese (Ligurian), mixed with Venetian, Sicilian, Provençal, Catalan, Greek and Arabic terms from around the Mediterranean basin.

32-point compass (traditional winds)
32-wind compass with traditional names (and traditional colour code)

This Italianate patois was used to designate the names of the principal winds on the compass rose found in mariners' compasses and portolan charts of the 14th and 15th centuries. The "traditional" names of the eight principal winds are:

  • (N) – Tramontana
  • (NE) – Greco (or Bora in some Venetian sources)
  • (E) – Levante (sometimes Oriente)
  • (SE) – Scirocco (or Exaloc in Catalan)
  • (S) – Ostro (or Mezzogiorno in Venetian)
  • (SW) – Libeccio (or Garbino, Eissalot in Provençal)
  • (W) – Ponente (or Zephyrus in Greek)
  • (NW) – Maestro (or Mistral in Provençal)

Local spelling variations are far more numerous than listed, e.g. Tramutana, Gregale, Grecho, Sirocco, Xaloc, Lebeg, Libezo, Leveche, Mezzodi, Migjorn, Magistro, Mestre, etc. Traditional compass roses will typically have the initials T, G, L, S, O, L, P, and M on the main points. Portolan charts also colour-coded the compass winds: black for the eight principal winds, green for the eight half-winds, and red for the sixteen quarter-winds.

Each half-wind name is simply a combination of the two principal winds that it bisects, with the shortest name usually placed first, for example: NNE is "Greco-Tramontana"; ENE is "Greco-Levante"; SSE is "Ostro-Scirocco", etc. The quarter winds are expressed with an Italian phrase, "Quarto di X verso Y" (pronounced [ˈkwarto di X ˈvɛrso Y][8][9][10] one quarter from X towards Y), or "X al Y" (X to Y) or "X per Y" (X by Y). There are no irregularities to trip over; the closest principal wind always comes first, the more distant one second, for example: north-by-east is "Quarto di Tramontana verso Greco"; and northeast-by-north is "Quarto di Greco verso Tramontana".

32 compass points

The table below shows how the 32 compass points are named.

Each point has an angular range of 11.250 degrees where: middle azimuth is the horizontal angular direction (from north) of the given compass bearing; minimum is the lower angular limit of the compass point; and maximum is the upper angular limit of the compass point.

Half- and quarter-points

Compass rose from "American Practical Navigator" 1916

By the middle of the 18th century, the 32-point system had been further extended by using half- and quarter-points to give a total of 128 directions.[3] These fractional points are named by appending, for example 1/4east, 1/2east, or 3/4east to the name of one of the 32 points. Each of the 96 fractional points can be named in two ways, depending on which of the two adjoining whole points is used, for example, N3/4E is equivalent to NbE1/4N. Either form is easily understood but alternative conventions as to correct usage developed in different countries and organisations. "It is the custom in the United States Navy to box from north and south toward east and west, with the exception that divisions adjacent to a cardinal or inter-cardinal point are always referred to that point."[11] The Royal Navy used the additional "rule that quarter points were never read from a point beginning and ending with the same letter."[12]

Compass roses very rarely named the fractional points and only showed small, unlabelled markers as a guide for helmsmen.

128 compass directions

The table below shows how each of the 128 directions are named. The first two columns give the number of points and degrees clockwise from north. The third gives the equivalent bearing to the nearest degree from north or south towards east or west. The "CW" column gives the fractional-point bearings increasing in the clockwise direction and "CCW" counterclockwise. The final three columns show three common naming conventions: No "by" avoids the use of "by" with fractional points; "USN" is the system used by the US Navy; and "RN" is the Royal Navy system. Colour coding shows whether each of the three naming systems matches the "CW" or "CCW" column.

See also


  1. ^ David Boardman. Graphicacy and Geography Teaching, 1983. Page 41 "In particular they should learn that wind direction is always stated as the direction from which, and not to which, the wind is blowing. Once children have grasped these eight points they can learn the full sixteen points of the compass."
  2. ^ Evans, Frederick John (1859). "Notes on the Magnetism of Ships". Pamphlets on British shipping. 1785–1861. By unknown editor. p. 8 (p. 433 of PDF). ISBN 0-217-85167-3. A deviation table having been formed by any of the processes now.so generally understood, either on the thirty-two points of the compass, the sixteen intermediate, or the eight principal pointsCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b E. Chambers Cyclopaedia: or, an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Science, 5th Ed, 1743, pp. 206–7, "Points of the Compass, or Horizon, &c., in Geography and Navigation, are the points of division when the whole circle, quite around, is divided into 32 equal parts. These points are therefore at the distance of the 32d part of the circult, or 11° 15′, from each other; hence 5° 37+1/2′ is the distance of the half points and 2° 48+3/4′ is the distance of the quarter points.
  4. ^ See Wiktionary definitions: north; northeast; east; southeast; south; southwest; west; northwest
  5. ^ Webb Aintablian, Xanthe (28 June 2018). "An Overview and History of the Compass". thoughtco.com. Dotdash. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018.
  6. ^ Lee, Robert E. (2011). "Compass Rose". University of Washington. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015.
  7. ^ George Payn Quackenbos A Natural Philosophy: Embracing the Most Recent Discoveries 1860 "Mentioning the mariner's compass: the points of the compass in their order is called boxing the compass. — The compass box is suspended within a larger box by means of two brass hoops, or gimbals as they are called, supported at opposite ..."
  8. ^ "quarto". WordReference.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018. English translation: fourth, quarter
  9. ^ "di". WordReference.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018. English translation: of, from...
  10. ^ "verso". WordReference.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018. English translation: towards, toward, close to, near to
  11. ^ Bowditch, Nathaniel (1916). American Practical Navigator: An Epitome of Navigation and Nautical Astronomy. United States Hydrographic Office. p. 15.
  12. ^ Kemp, Peter, ed. (1988). "Box the Compass". The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. Oxford University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0-19-282084-2.

External links

Cardinal direction

The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are perpendicular (at right angles) to north and south, with east being in the clockwise direction of rotation from north and west being directly opposite east. Points between the cardinal directions form the points of the compass.

The intercardinal (also called the intermediate directions and, historically, ordinal) directions are northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW), and northwest (NW). The intermediate direction of every set of intercardinal and cardinal direction is called a secondary intercardinal direction, the eight shortest points in the compass rose that is shown to the right (e.g. NNE, ENE, and ESE).


Cittadella is a medieval walled city in the province of Padua, northern Italy, founded in the 13th century as a military outpost of Padua. The surrounding wall has been restored and is 1,461 metres (4,793 ft) in circumference with a diameter of around 450 metres (1,480 ft). There are four gates which roughly correspond the points of the compass.

The local football club is A.S. Cittadella.


A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction relative to the geographic cardinal directions (or points). Usually, a diagram called a compass rose shows the directions north, south, east, and west on the compass face as abbreviated initials. When the compass is used, the rose can be aligned with the corresponding geographic directions; for example, the "N" mark on the rose points northward. Compasses often display markings for angles in degrees in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the rose. North corresponds to 0°, and the angles increase clockwise, so east is 90° degrees, south is 180°, and west is 270°. These numbers allow the compass to show magnetic North azimuths or true North azimuths or bearings, which are commonly stated in this notation. If magnetic declination between the magnetic North and true North at latitude angle and longitude angle is known, then direction of magnetic North also gives direction of true North.

Among the Four Great Inventions, the magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty (since c. 206 BC), and later adopted for navigation by the Song Dynasty Chinese during the 11th century. The first usage of a compass recorded in Western Europe and the Islamic world occurred around 1190.


East is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from west.

Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia

The flag of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was adopted on 30 November 1978. The blue field represents the Pacific Ocean, while the four stars represent the states in the federation: Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap.

A similar design with six stars was in use from 1965 for the flag of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Kosrae was then part of Pohnpei so both were represented by one star. The three extra stars representing Palau, the Marshall Islands and Northern Mariana, which chose not to participate in the Federation. The flag, adopted in 1978, is in the colors of the UN flag. The light blue also represents the Pacific Ocean. In an echo of U.S. heraldic practice, the stars represent the entities that make up the state, in this case, the four federated states, arranged like the points of the compass, although the states locations are actually distributed from west to east

Four corners of the world

Several cosmological and mythological systems portray four corners of the world or four quarters of the world corresponding approximately to the four points of the compass (or the two solstices and two equinoxes). At the center may lie a sacred mountain, garden, world tree, or other beginning-point of creation. Often four rivers run to the four corners of the world, and water or irrigate the four quadrants of the Earth.

In Christianity and Judaism, the Old Testament (Book of Genesis, Genesis 2:8-14) identifies the Garden of Eden, and the four rivers as the Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon, and Gihon. The Tigris runs to Assyria, the Euphrates to Armenia, the Pishon to Havilah or Elam, and the Gihon to Ethiopia.In Mesopotamian cosmology, four rivers flowing out of the garden of creation, which is the center of the world, define the four corners of the world. From the point of view of the Akkadians, the northern geographical horizon was marked by Subartu, the west by Mar.tu, the east by Elam and the south by Sumer; later rulers of all of Mesopotamia, such as Cyrus, claimed among their titles LUGAL kib-ra-a-ti er-bé-et-tì, "King of the Four Corners".In Hinduism, the sacred mountain Kailash has four sides, from which four rivers flow to the four quarters of the world (the Ganges, Indus, Oxus (Amu Darya), and Śita (Tarim)), dividing the world into four quadrants. Another account portrays a celestial mountain, Mount Meru, buttressed by four terrestrial mountain ranges which extend in four directions. Between them lie four sacred lakes, through which the celestial river divides into four earthly rivers, which flow to the four corners and irrigate the four quadrants of the Earth. Buddhism and the Bon religion of Tibet have similar accounts.

Hickling Mill

Hickling Mill is a 19th-century grade II* listed windmill in Hickling Heath, Norfolk, England.It was built of tarred brick in 1818 to a design known as a tower mill, a tapering circular building 8 storeys high with brickwork 30 inches (76 cm) thick at the base. Each floor has 4 windows to the four cardinal points of the compass although many are blocked up on the inside, especially on the north face. It is topped by a weatherboarded boat-shaped cap with a petticoat and fan cradle.

The mill was used for grinding wheat for flour and by the 1860s also included a bakery. Production ceased in 1904, at which time the sails and fantail were removed.After several changes of ownership the mill in 1934 came into the ownership of the Forbes family, who carried out major cap renovation in 1989. Otherwise Hickling Mill is one of the few windmills in the country to have been preserved in a largely unrestored condition. It still contains almost a complete set of main machinery and many of the original timber fittings and three sets of millstones.

International Festivals of the Sea

The International Festivals of the Sea are a series of maritime festivals, which have been held in various British port cities since 1996. The festivals are intended to be celebrations of the sea, bringing together sailors, musicians, artists, entertainers, ships and boats from all points of the compass.

Kitora Tomb

The Kitora Tomb (キトラ古墳, Kitora Kofun) is an ancient tumulus (kofun in Japanese) located in the village of Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The tomb is believed to have been constructed some time between the 7th and early 8th centuries, but was only discovered in 1983.

A small stone chamber, the Kitora Tomb is a little over 1 metre in height and width and about 2.4 metres long, just large enough to bury a single person. The four walls are aligned with the cardinal points of the compass, and respectively feature the Black Divine Tortoise of the North, the Azure Dragon of the East, the Red Phoenix of the South, and the White Tiger of the West. On the ceiling of the chamber there is also a astronomical chart that has been the focus of much research and debate by scholars in the field of archaeoastronomy. In addition, the 12 zodiac animals-headed figures with human body are painted on the wall, which may be one of the oldest remaining zodiac murals in East Asia.

Fragments of a lacquered wooden coffin, torn apart when the tomb was robbed, lay 5 cm thick on the chamber floor, mixed with grave goods and human bone. A gilded bronze fitting and sword decorations were discovered, both executed with superbly inlaid patterns. Based upon analysis of the bone fragments and items found in the tomb, it is believed the interred was a middle-aged or older male of aristocratic background.

The paintings have suffered the ravages of time, and, as National Treasure of Japan and World Heritage, their preservation has been accorded the highest priority. The entire tomb has been roofed over, and a series of adjoining antechambers were constructed to isolate the central chamber from temperature and humidity fluctuations, and prevent contamination by airborne mold spores and microorganisms.

Kushang Sherpa

Kushang Sherpa (Bengali: কুশাং শেরপা; born 15 Feb 1965) is an Indian mountaineer, who in 1998 became the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest from three sides.

Parc Montsouris

Parc Montsouris is a public park in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, at the southern edge of Paris directly south of the center. Opened in 1869, Parc Montsouris is one of the four large urban public parks, along with the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, created by Emperor Napoleon III and his Prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann, at each of the cardinal points of the compass around the city, in order to provide green space and recreation for the rapidly growing population of Paris. The park is 15.5 hectares in area, and is designed as an English landscape garden.The Park contains a lake, a cascade, wide sloping lawns, and many notable varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. It is also home to a meteorology station, a cafe and a guignol theater. The roads of the park are extremely popular with joggers on weekends.

The park is bounded to the south by Boulevard Jourdan and the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP); to the north by Avenue Reille; to the east by Rue Gazan and Rue de la Cité Universitaire; and to the west by Rue Nansouty and Rue Émile Deutsch-de-la-Meurthe.

The "Cité Universitaire" stop on the line on the RER B is located in the center of Parc Montsouris.


Rhumb may refer to:

Rhumb line, a navigational path with a constant bearing

one of the 16 or 32 points of the compass (now rare)

a nautical unit of angular measure equal to 1/32 of a circle or 11.25° (now rare)


Satuditha (Burmese: စတုဒိသာ; pronounced [sətṵdḭθà]) is a traditional Burmese feast and merit-making activity that features prominently in Burmese culture, reinforcing the importance of generosity and almsgiving as a Burmese cultural norm.

Sidcot School

Sidcot School is a British co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils, associated with the Religious Society of Friends. It is one of seven Quaker schools in England. The school is based in the Mendip Hills near the village of Winscombe, Somerset and caters for children between the ages of 3 and 18. Children aged from 3 to 11 are educated in Sidcot Junior School, which is located on its own site adjacent to the main campus. About 130 of the school's 525 pupils (2010) are in this junior school.

In the senior school, nearly half of the 395 pupils are boarders. Over 29 different countries are represented making up 25% of the school. Boarders board in the grounds in one of the 6 boarding houses. The girls' houses are Newcombe, School House Girls and Meadowside, and the boys' are School House Boys and Wing House.

Although a Quaker School, pupils come from a variety of different faiths and cultures. All pupils are expected to join in with a short Meeting for Worship every Friday morning instead of assembly.

Prior to September 2013, Sidcot school operated a 3 house system named after explorers: Nansen, Shackleton and Rhodes. A new House system was introduced at the beginning of the 2013 Autumn term. There are four houses in the revised house system named after the cardinal points of the compass: North, East, South and West, each house has a colour: Blue,Yellow, Green and Red respectively. The houses are mainly used for sports days and house matches of sport. One of the principal aims behind the new system is to allow greater interaction between students in the Senior and Junior Schools. The introduction of House Assemblies at points in the term facilitates students to work together within their Houses. All staff are aligned to a House and given the opportunity to participate in its life as well as support House events.

Sidcot has built a new creative arts block, with extensive drama, art and music facilities, which opened in June 2009. It is open to the public for exhibitions, courses and workshops.

Many past pupils and teachers are members of the Sidcotians (Alumni Network).

Summerhill House

Summerhill House was a 100-roomed mansion in County Meath, Ireland which was the ancestral seat of the Viscounts Langford and the Barons Langford. Built in 1731, Summerhill House demonstrated the power and wealth the Langford Rowley family had at the time. They owned vast amounts of land in counties Meath, Westmeath, Cork, Derry, Antrim, and Dublin as well as in Devon and Cornwall in the United Kingdom.

Summerhill House dominated the landscape and was exceptionally imposing as it was situated on the summit of a hill. The main entrance was from the village of Summerhill. The other entrance was from the Dublin road, with the avenue 1 mile long. Like all such demesnes, there were four avenues leading out to the four points of the compass.The mansion at Summerhill was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and completed by Richard Cassels in the Palladian style, although Sir John Vanbrugh (who was related to Pearce) had a great influence on the house, which could be seen by the great arched chimney stacks, Pearce actually had trained in Vanburgh's office. Robert Adam, also redecorated a small amount of the rooms later on in the mansion's history.

The mansion at Summerhill welcomed royalty, it was an exceptionally dignified house and at its time of erection ranked architecturally amongst the finest and grandest mansions in Europe.


A toposcope, topograph, or orientation table is a kind of graphic display erected at viewing points on hills, mountains or other high places which indicates the direction, and usually the distance, to notable landscape features which can be seen from that point. They are often placed in public parks, country parks, the grounds of stately homes, at popular vantage points (especially accompanying or built into triangulation stations) or places of historical note, such as battlefields.Toposcopes usually show the points of the compass, or at least North.

Smaller toposcopes usually consist of a circular plaque, or a plaque with a circle marked on it, mounted horizontally on a plinth. They will have radiating lines indicating the direction to various landmarks, together with the distance and often a pictorial representation of the landmark. They are frequently constructed of a metal such as bronze, cast or etched, set on top of a concrete or stone block, which provides weather- and vandal-resistance.

Large toposcopes may be circular paved areas, with numerous plaques around the perimeter, each indicating a particular feature of the landscape.

Weather vane

A weather vane, wind vane, or weathercock is an instrument used for showing the direction of the wind. It is typically used as an architectural ornament to the highest point of a building. The word "vane" comes from the Old English word "fana" meaning "flag".

Although partly functional, weather vanes are generally decorative, often featuring the traditional cockerel design with letters indicating the points of the compass. Other common motifs include ships, arrows and horses. Not all weather vanes have pointers. When the wind is sufficiently strong, the head of the arrow or cockerel (or equivalent depending on the chosen design) will indicate the direction from which the wind is blowing.

The weather vane was independently invented in ancient China and Greece around the same time during the 2nd century BCE. The earliest written reference to a weather vane appears in the Huainanzi, and a weather vane was fitted on top of the Tower of the Winds in Athens.


West is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east, and is the direction in which the sun sets.

Winds of Provence

The Winds of Provence, the region of southeast France along the Mediterranean from the Alps to the mouth of the Rhone River, are an important feature of Provençal life, and each one has a traditional local name, in the Provençal language.

The most famous Provençal winds are:

The Mistral, a cold dry north or northwest wind, which blows down through the Rhone Valley to the Mediterranean, and can reach speeds of ninety kilometers an hour.

The Levant, a very humid east wind, which brings moisture from the eastern Mediterranean.

The Tramontane, a strong, cold and dry north wind, similar to the Mistral, which blows from the Massif Central mountains toward the Mediterranean to the west of the Rhone.The Marin, a strong, wet and cloudy south wind, which blows in from the Gulf of Lion.

The Sirocco, a southeast wind coming from the Sahara desert in Africa, can reach hurricane force, and brings either reddish dust or heavy rains.

The Provençal names for the winds are very similar to the names in the Catalan language:

Tramontane (Pr.) = Tramuntana (Catalan)

Levant (Pr.) = Llevant (Catalan)

Mistral (Pr.) = Mestral (Catalan)

No. Compass point Abbreviation Traditional wind point Minimum Middle azimuth Maximum
0 North N Tramontana 354.375° 0.000° 5.625°
1 North by east NbE Quarto di Tramontana verso Greco 5.625° 11.250° 16.875°
2 North-northeast NNE Greco-Tramontana 16.875° 22.500° 28.125°
3 Northeast by north NEbN Quarto di Greco verso Tramontana 28.125° 33.750° 39.375°
4 Northeast NE Greco 39.375° 45.000° 50.625°
5 Northeast by east NEbE Quarto di Greco verso Levante 50.625° 56.250° 61.875°
6 East-northeast ENE Greco-Levante 61.875° 67.500° 73.125°
7 East by north EbN Quarto di Levante verso Greco 73.125° 78.750° 84.375°
8 East E Levante 84.375° 90.000° 95.625°
9 East by south EbS Quarto di Levante verso Scirocco 95.625° 101.250° 106.875°
10 East-southeast ESE Levante-Scirocco 106.875° 112.500° 118.125°
11 Southeast by east SEbE Quarto di Scirocco verso Levante 118.125° 123.750° 129.375°
12 Southeast SE Scirocco 129.375° 135.000° 140.625°
13 Southeast by south SEbS Quarto di Scirocco verso Ostro 140.625° 146.250° 151.875°
14 South-southeast SSE Ostro-Scirocco 151.875° 157.500° 163.125°
15 South by east SbE Quarto di Ostro verso Scirocco 163.125° 168.750° 174.375°
16 South S Ostro 174.375° 180.000° 185.625°
17 South by west SbW Quarto di Ostro verso Libeccio 185.625° 191.250° 196.875°
18 South-southwest SSW Ostro-Libeccio 196.875° 202.500° 208.125°
19 Southwest by south SWbS Quarto di Libeccio verso Ostro 208.125° 213.750° 219.375°
20 Southwest SW Libeccio 219.375° 225.000° 230.625°
21 Southwest by west SWbW Quarto di Libeccio verso Ponente 230.625° 236.250° 241.875°
22 West-southwest WSW Ponente-Libeccio 241.875° 247.500° 253.125°
23 West by south WbS Quarto di Ponente verso Libeccio 253.125° 258.750° 264.375°
24 West W Ponente 264.375° 270.000° 275.625°
25 West by north WbN Quarto di Ponente verso Maestro 275.625° 281.250° 286.875°
26 West-northwest WNW Maestro-Ponente 286.875° 292.500° 298.125°
27 Northwest by west NWbW Quarto di Maestro verso Ponente 298.125° 303.750° 309.375°
28 Northwest NW Maestro 309.375° 315.000° 320.625°
29 Northwest by north NWbN Quarto di Maestro verso Tramontana 320.625° 326.250° 331.875°
30 North-northwest NNW Maestro-Tramontana 331.875° 337.500° 343.125°
31 North by west NbW Quarto di Tramontana verso Maestro 343.125° 348.750° 354.375°
32 North N Tramontana 354.375° 360.000° 5.625°
Points Degrees Bearing CW CCW No "by" USN RN
000/0 0000′ 00″ N N
001/4 002° 48′ 45″ N 03° E N1/4E NbE3/4N N1/4E N1/4E N1/4E
001/2 005° 37′ 30″ N 06° E N1/2E NbE1/2N N1/2E N1/2E N1/2E
003/4 008° 26′ 15″ N 08° E N3/4E NbE1/4N N3/4E N3/4E N3/4E
010/0 011° 15′ 00″ N 11° E NbE
01+1/4 014° 03′ 45″ N 14° E NbE1/4E NNE3/4N NNE3/4N NbE1/4E NbE1/4E
01+1/2 016° 52′ 30″ N 17° E NbE1/2E NNE1/2N NNE1/2N NbE1/2E NbE1/2E
01+3/4 019° 41′ 15″ N 20° E NbE3/4E NNE1/4N NNE1/4N NbE3/4E NbE3/4E
020/0 022° 30′ 00″ N 23° E NNE
02+1/4 025° 18′ 45″ N 25° E NNE1/4E NEbN3/4N NNE1/4E NNE1/4E NNE1/4E
02+1/2 028° 07′ 30″ N 28° E NNE1/2E NEbN1/2N NNE1/2E NNE1/2E NNE1/2E
02+3/4 030° 56′ 15″ N 31° E NNE3/4E NEbN1/4N NNE3/4E NNE3/4E NNE3/4E
030/0 033° 45′ 00″ N 34° E NEbN
03+1/4 036° 33′ 45″ N 37° E NEbN1/4E NE3/4N NE3/4N NE3/4N NE3/4N
03+1/2 039° 22′ 30″ N 39° E NEbN1/2E NE1/2N NE1/2N NE1/2N NE1/2N
03+3/4 042° 11′ 15″ N 42° E NEbN3/4E NE1/4N NE1/4N NE1/4N NE1/4N
040/0 045° 00′ 00″ N 45° E NE
04+1/4 047° 48′ 45″ N 48° E NE1/4E NEbE3/4N NE1/4E NE1/4E NE1/4E
04+1/2 050° 37′ 30″ N 51° E NE1/2E NEbE1/2N NE1/2E NE1/2E NE1/2E
04+3/4 053° 26′ 15″ N 53° E NE3/4E NEbE1/4N NE3/4E NE3/4E NE3/4E
050/0 056° 15′ 00″ N 56° E NEbE
05+1/4 059° 03′ 45″ N 59° E NEbE1/4E ENE3/4N ENE3/4N NEbE1/4E NEbE1/4E
05+1/2 061° 52′ 30″ N 62° E NEbE1/2E ENE1/2N ENE1/2N NEbE1/2E NEbE1/2E
05+3/4 064° 41′ 15″ N 65° E NEbE3/4E ENE1/4N ENE1/4N NEbE3/4E NEbE3/4E
060/0 067° 30′ 00″ N 68° E ENE
06+1/4 070° 18′ 45″ N 70° E ENE1/4E EbN3/4N ENE1/4E ENE1/4E EbN3/4N
06+1/2 073° 07′ 30″ N 73° E ENE1/2E EbN1/2N ENE1/2E ENE1/2E EbN1/2N
06+3/4 075° 56′ 15″ N 76° E ENE3/4E EbN1/4N ENE3/4E ENE3/4E EbN1/4N
070/0 078° 45′ 00″ N 79° E EbN
07+1/4 081° 33′ 45″ N 82° E EbN1/4E E3/4N E3/4N E3/4N E3/4N
07+1/2 084° 22′ 30″ N 84° E EbN1/2E E1/2N E1/2N E1/2N E1/2N
07+3/4 087° 11′ 15″ N 87° E EbN3/4E E1/4N E1/4N E1/4N E1/4N
080/0 090° 00′ 00″ E E
08+1/4 092° 48′ 45″ S 87° E E1/4S EbS3/4E E1/4S E1/4S E1/4S
08+1/2 095° 37′ 30″ S 84° E E1/2S EbS1/2E E1/2S E1/2S E1/2S
08+3/4 098° 26′ 15″ S 82° E E3/4S EbS1/4E E3/4S E3/4S E3/4S
090/0 101° 15′ 00″ S 79° E EbS
09+1/4 104° 03′ 45″ S 76° E EbS1/4S ESE3/4E ESE3/4E ESE3/4E EbS1/4S
09+1/2 106° 52′ 30″ S 73° E EbS1/2S ESE1/2E ESE1/2E ESE1/2E EbS1/2S
09+3/4 109° 41′ 15″ S 70° E EbS3/4S ESE1/4E ESE1/4E ESE1/4E EbS3/4S
100/0 112° 30′ 00″ S 68° E ESE
10+1/4 115° 18′ 45″ S 65° E ESE1/4S SEbE3/4E ESE1/4S SEbE3/4E SEbE3/4E
10+1/2 118° 07′ 30″ S 62° E ESE1/2S SEbE1/2E ESE1/2S SEbE1/2E SEbE1/2E
10+3/4 120° 56′ 15″ S 59° E ESE3/4S SEbE1/4E ESE3/4S SEbE1/4E SEbE1/4E
110/0 123° 45′ 00″ S 56° E SEbE
11+1/4 126° 33′ 45″ S 53° E SEbE1/4S SE3/4E SE3/4E SE3/4E SE3/4E
11+1/2 129° 22′ 30″ S 51° E SEbE1/2S SE1/2E SE1/2E SE1/2E SE1/2E
11+3/4 132° 11′ 15″ S 48° E SEbE3/4S SE1/4E SE1/4E SE1/4E SE1/4E
120/0 135° 00′ 00″ S 45° E SE
12+1/4 137° 48′ 45″ S 42° E SE1/4S SEbS3/4E SE1/4S SE1/4S SE1/4S
12+1/2 140° 37′ 30″ S 39° E SE1/2S SEbS1/2E SE1/2S SE1/2S SE1/2S
12+3/4 143° 26′ 15″ S 37° E SE3/4S SEbS1/4E SE3/4S SE3/4S SE3/4S
130/0 146° 15′ 00″ S 34° E SEbS
13+1/4 149° 03′ 45″ S 31° E SEbS1/4S SSE3/4E SSE3/4E SSE3/4E SSE3/4E
13+1/2 151° 52′ 30″ S 28° E SEbS1/2S SSE1/2E SSE1/2E SSE1/2E SSE1/2E
13+3/4 154° 41′ 15″ S 25° E SEbS3/4S SSE1/4E SSE1/4E SSE1/4E SSE1/4E
140/0 157° 30′ 00″ S 23° E SSE
14+1/4 160° 18′ 45″ S 20° E SSE1/4S SbE3/4E SSE1/4S SbE3/4E SbE3/4E
14+1/2 163° 07′ 30″ S 17° E SSE1/2S SbE1/2E SSE1/2S SbE1/2E SbE1/2E
14+3/4 165° 56′ 15″ S 14° E SSE3/4S SbE1/4E SSE3/4S SbE1/4E SbE1/4E
150/0 168° 45′ 00″ S 11° E SbE
15+1/4 171° 33′ 45″ S 08° E SbE1/4S S3/4E S3/4E S3/4E S3/4E
15+1/2 174° 22′ 30″ S 06° E SbE1/2S S1/2E S1/2E S1/2E S1/2E
15+3/4 177° 11′ 15″ S 03° E SbE3/4S S1/4E S1/4E S1/4E S1/4E
160/0 180° 00′ 00″ S S
16+1/4 182° 48′ 45″ S 03° W S1/4W SbW3/4S S1/4W S1/4W S1/4W
16+1/2 185° 37′ 30″ S 06° W S1/2W SbW1/2S S1/2W S1/2W S1/2W
16+3/4 188° 26′ 15″ S 08° W S3/4W SbW1/4S S3/4W S3/4W S3/4W
170/0 191° 15′ 00″ S 11° W SbW
17+1/4 194° 03′ 45″ S 14° W SbW1/4W SSW3/4S SSW3/4S SbW1/4W SbW1/4W
17+1/2 196° 52′ 30″ S 17° W SbW1/2W SSW1/2S SSW1/2S SbW1/2W SbW1/2W
17+3/4 199° 41′ 15″ S 20° W SbW3/4W SSW1/4S SSW1/4S SbW3/4W SbW3/4W
180/0 202° 30′ 00″ S 23° W SSW
18+1/4 205° 18′ 45″ S 25° W SSW1/4W SWbS3/4S SSW1/4W SSW1/4W SSW1/4W
18+1/2 208° 07′ 30″ S 28° W SSW1/2W SWbS1/2S SSW1/2W SSW1/2W SSW1/2W
18+3/4 210° 56′ 15″ S 31° W SSW3/4W SWbS1/4S SSW3/4W SSW3/4W SSW3/4W
190/0 213° 45′ 00″ S 34° W SWbS
19+1/4 216° 33′ 45″ S 37° W SWbS1/4W SW3/4S SW3/4S SW3/4S SW3/4S
19+1/2 219° 22′ 30″ S 39° W SWbS1/2W SW1/2S SW1/2S SW1/2S SW1/2S
19+3/4 222° 11′ 15″ S 42° W SWbS3/4W SW1/4S SW1/4S SW1/4S SW1/4S
200/0 225° 00′ 00″ S 45° W SW
20+1/4 227° 48′ 45″ S 48° W SW1/4W SWbW3/4S SW1/4W SW1/4W SW1/4W
20+1/2 230° 37′ 30″ S 51° W SW1/2W SWbW1/2S SW1/2W SW1/2W SW1/2W
20+3/4 233° 26′ 15″ S 53° W SW3/4W SWbW1/4S SW3/4W SW3/4W SW3/4W
210/0 236° 15′ 00″ S 56° W SWbW
21+1/4 239° 03′ 45″ S 59° W SWbW1/4W WSW3/4S WSW3/4S SWbW1/4W SWbW1/4W
21+1/2 241° 52′ 30″ S 62° W SWbW1/2W WSW1/2S WSW1/2S SWbW1/2W SWbW1/2W
21+3/4 244° 41′ 15″ S 65° W SWbW3/4W WSW1/4S WSW1/4S SWbW3/4W SWbW3/4W
220/0 247° 30′ 00″ S 68° W WSW
22+1/4 250° 18′ 45″ S 70° W WSW1/4W WbS3/4S WSW1/4W WSW1/4W WbS3/4S
22+1/2 253° 07′ 30″ S 73° W WSW1/2W WbS1/2S WSW1/2W WSW1/2W WbS1/2S
22+3/4 255° 56′ 15″ S 76° W WSW3/4W WbS1/4S WSW3/4W WSW3/4W WbS1/4S
230/0 258° 45′ 00″ S 79° W WbS
23+1/4 261° 33′ 45″ S 82° W WbS1/4W W3/4S W3/4S W3/4S W3/4S
23+1/2 264° 22′ 30″ S 84° W WbS1/2W W1/2S W1/2S W1/2S W1/2S
23+3/4 267° 11′ 15″ S 87° W WbS3/4W W1/4S W1/4S W1/4S W1/4S
240/0 270° 00′ 00″ W W
24+1/4 272° 48′ 45″ N 87° W W1/4N WbN3/4W W1/4N W1/4N W1/4N
24+1/2 275° 37′ 30″ N 84° W W1/2N WbN1/2W W1/2N W1/2N W1/2N
24+3/4 278° 26′ 15″ N 82° W W3/4N WbN1/4W W3/4N W3/4N W3/4N
250/0 281° 15′ 00″ N 79° W WbN
25+1/4 284° 03′ 45″ N 76° W WbN1/4N WNW3/4W WNW3/4W WNW3/4W WbN1/4N
25+1/2 286° 52′ 30″ N 73° W WbN1/2N WNW1/2W WNW1/2W WNW1/2W WbN1/2N
25+3/4 289° 41′ 15″ N 70° W WbN3/4N WNW1/4W WNW1/4W WNW1/4W WbN3/4N
260/0 292° 30′ 00″ N 68° W WNW
26+1/4 295° 18′ 45″ N 65° W WNW1/4N NWbW3/4W WNW1/4N NWbW3/4W NWbW3/4W
26+1/2 298° 07′ 30″ N 62° W WNW1/2N NWbW1/2W WNW1/2N NWbW1/2W NWbW1/2W
26+3/4 300° 56′ 15″ N 59° W WNW3/4N NWbW1/4W WNW3/4N NWbW1/4W NWbW1/4W
270/0 303° 45′ 00″ N 56° W NWbW
27+1/4 306° 33′ 45″ N 53° W NWbW1/4N NW3/4W NW3/4W NW3/4W NW3/4W
27+1/2 309° 22′ 30″ N 51° W NWbW1/2N NW1/2W NW1/2W NW1/2W NW1/2W
27+3/4 312° 11′ 15″ N 48° W NWbW3/4N NW1/4W NW1/4W NW1/4W NW1/4W
280/0 315° 00′ 00″ N 45° W NW
28+1/4 317° 48′ 45″ N 42° W NW1/4N NWbN3/4W NW1/4N NW1/4N NW1/4N
28+1/2 320° 37′ 30″ N 39° W NW1/2N NWbN1/2W NW1/2N NW1/2N NW1/2N
28+3/4 323° 26′ 15″ N 37° W NW3/4N NWbN1/4W NW3/4N NW3/4N NW3/4N
290/0 326° 15′ 00″ N 34° W NWbN
29+1/4 329° 03′ 45″ N 31° W NWbN1/4N NNW3/4W NNW3/4W NNW3/4W NNW3/4W
29+1/2 331° 52′ 30″ N 28° W NWbN1/2N NNW1/2W NNW1/2W NNW1/2W NNW1/2W
29+3/4 334° 41′ 15″ N 25° W NWbN3/4N NNW1/4W NNW1/4W NNW1/4W NNW1/4W
300/0 337° 30′ 00″ N 23° W NNW
30+1/4 340° 18′ 45″ N 20° W NNW1/4N NbW3/4W NNW1/4N NbW3/4W NbW3/4W
30+1/2 343° 07′ 30″ N 17° W NNW1/2N NbW1/2W NNW1/2N NbW1/2W NbW1/2W
30+3/4 345° 56′ 15″ N 14° W NNW3/4N NbW1/4W NNW3/4N NbW1/4W NbW1/4W
310/0 348° 45′ 00″ N 11° W NbW
31+1/4 351° 33′ 45″ N 08° W NbW1/4N N3/4W N3/4W N3/4W N3/4W
31+1/2 354° 22′ 30″ N 06° W NbW1/2N N1/2W N1/2W N1/2W N1/2W
31+3/4 357° 11′ 15″ N 03° W NbW3/4N N1/4W N1/4W N1/4W N1/4W
320/0 360° 00′ 00″ N N
Compass direction
Cardinal and ordinal directions
The eight principal winds


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.