Suppose that a random process Z(s;t), indexed in space and time, has spatio-temporal stationary covariance C(h;u), where h ∈ ℝd (d ≥ 1) is a spatial lag and u ∈ ℝ is a temporal lag. Separable spatio-temporal covariances have the property that they can be written as a product of a purely spatial covariance and a purely temporal covariance. Their ease of definition is counterbalanced by the rather limited class of random processes to which they correspond. In this article we derive a new approach that allows one to obtain many classes of nonseparable, spatio-temporal stationary covariance functions and fit several such classes to spatio-temporal data on wind speed over a region in the tropical western Pacific ocean. © 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.