We analyze turbulent velocity signals in the atmospheric surface layer, obtained by pairs of probes separated by inertial-range distances parallel to the ground and (nominally) orthogonal to the mean wind. The Taylor microscale Reynolds number ranges up to 20000. Choosing a suitable coordinate system with respect to the mean wind, we derive theoretical forms for second order structure functions and fit them to experimental data. The effect of flow anisotropy is small for the longitudinal component but significant for the transverse component. The data provide an estimate for a universal exponent from among a hierarchy that governs the decay of flow anisotropy with the scale size.