Finding out the wind at 1,000 or 2,000 feet above the surface is slightly easier than determining the gradient. Over U.S. coastal locations, the National Weather Service launches weather balloons daily to observe the wind, and observations of winds aloft are available for locations all over the country. Coastal Doppler radar sites now observe wind aloft, too. For really big events like the Olympics, Ive even launched my own weather balloons. You can do this, too, with some helium-filled party balloons. Track the balloon as it rises, and you can tell how the wind changes with height, both in direction and speed.