WASHINGTON (AP) _ Efforts to improve weather forecasts and learn more about how weather develops will be aided by a network of 30 wind-measuring centers in the central part of the country, the government says.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that the $40-million wind sensor system will be built in a grid pattern in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, eastern Colorado, northern Texas and the western parts of Arkansas and Louisiana. The system is expected to be completed in 1989. The wind machines will be designed to measure wind speed and direction at altitudes of up to 10 miles every half hour. Currently, balloons take upper-air wind readings only twice daily.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Consumer Federation of America is seeking a government warning and eventual ban on the chemical methylene chloride, which has been linked to cancer.

The private consuner advocacy group on Tuesday asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission to declare the chemical a hazardous substance, which would require warning labels on products containing the chemical. The chemical is widely used in paint stripper and spray paints. A commission staff report recently called it one of the most dangerous chemicals available to the general public, and said that exposure to the substance in a closed room increases the chances of contracting cancer, even if the exposure is only once a year.

A mixture of methylene chloride and aldicarb oxime escaped from Union Carbide's Institute, W.Va., plant on Aug. 11, sending 135 people to hospitals. The company claims the exposure will not cause long-term health problems.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Defense Department is seeking comment from large contractors on a Pentagon proposal requiring the contractors to provide refunds on overpriced spare parts.

Letters outlining the suggested policy were sent in August to chief executives of the 30 largest contractors, said Pentagon spokesman Fred Hoffman.

The proposal was formulated after two contractors General Electric Co., and Boeing Co. voluntarily offered a spare parts guarantee, promising a refund or credit if the Pentagon finds any of their spare parts overpriced.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says General Motors Corp. will recall 454,000 of its 1981 Chevrolets and Pontiacs to fix corroding pollution control equipment.

And in Detroit, Volkswagen of America said it recalled 105,000 VW and Audi cars from the years 1983 through 1985 for faulty brake hoses that can lead to partial loss of brakes.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that GM is asking owners of 1981 Chevrolet Chevettes and Pontiac T-1000s to take their cars to dealers for replacement of the air tube assembly that injects fresh air into the exhaust manifold.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army, which has been criticized for the way it tested its Bradley Fighting Vehicle, announced it will conduct a new series of tests this week to see how well the new armored carrier withstands bombardment.

The tests, at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, will consist of firing high-explosive rounds and missiles at the Bradleys, the Army said in a statement. Some tests will ''result in total destruction of the vehicle,'' but officials hope they will show how the carrier can be improved to protect soldiers in combat, the Army said.

The Bradley, which runs on treads like a tank and can go more than 40 mph, was designed as an armored vehicle that could augment the firepower of tanks with canon and anti-tank missiles in battle. Results of previous tests, reportedly conducted without a full load of ammunition and fuel aboard the vehicle, have raised doubts about how well the aluminum-covered carrier can stand up to hits by anti-tank missiles used by the Soviet armies, said Col. James Burton, an Air Force officer who had charged the Army avoided realistic battlefield tests of the vehicle.