Great Scientific Data VisualizationHint.fm, a collaboration site for Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, has created a kind of scientific/art project based on U.S. wind data. It's an animated wind map that is not only beautiful but also interactive: You can zoom in and out, drag it with your mouse, and if you hover over an area, it'll tell you wind speeds and the exact latitude-longitude location.
There's a gallery that shows all kinds of continent-wide wind patterns, some quite beautiful!
Surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. These are near-term forecasts, updated once per hour. So what you're seeing is close to live data. (See the NDFD site for precise details; our timestamp shows time of download.) And for those of you chasing top wind speed, note that maximum speed may occur over lakes or just offshore.