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Does that mean that

  • the wind will be coming from south-east (since wind direction is usually reported by the direction from which it originates)

or that

  • the wind will be blowing to south-east (which is how I'd intuitively interpret "auf")?
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I agree that it is a confusing way to phrase it :) – Emanuel May 8 '12 at 9:36
up vote 13 down vote accepted

In German the wind direction ("Windrichtung") is described in the same way as in English. In both languages the direction given is the direction the wind comes from.

Der Wind bläst aus Südost. Wir haben Südostwind.

In your example however we see the verb "drehen" with the preposition "auf". This indicates there was a change of wind direction but still the direction is where the wind comes from:

Der Wind drehte auf Südost. Zuvor hatten wir Ostwind.

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Yes, it means that the wind comes from south-east. Here are some other alternatives to say from where the wind comes.

Der Wind weht meist schwach aus südlichen Richtungen.

Der Wind weht mäßig aus Südost bis Südwest.

Der Wind weht schwach bis mäßig um Südost.

Der schwache Wind kommt aus Süd.

Böig auffrischender Südwestwind.

Die Wolken ziehen vom Südwesten über Deutschland hinein.

Der südöstliche Wind weht meist schwach.

Der Wind dreht von Südost auf Südwest.

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