The Beaufort Wind Scale
The Beaufort Wind Scale we used at sea to record the wind speed in the Ship's Log as Officer of the Watch.
One of the first scales to estimate wind speeds and the effects was created by Britain's Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857). He developed the scale in 1805 to help sailors estimate the winds via
BEAUFORT SCALE: Specifications and equivalent speeds for use on land FORCE EQUIVALENT SPEED DESCRIPTION SPECIFICATIONS FOR USE ON LAND 10 m above ground miles/hour knots 0 0-1 0-1 Calm Calm; smoke rises verticall. 1 1-3 1-3 Light air Direction of wind shown by smoke drift, but not by wind vanes. 2 4-7 4-6 Light Breeze Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vanes moved by wind. 3 8-12 7-10 Gentle Breeze Leaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag. 4 13-18 11-16 Moderate Breeze Raises dust and loose paper; small branches are moved. 5 19-24 17-21 Fresh Breeze Small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters. 6 25-31 22-27 Strong Breeze Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty. 7 32-38 28-33 Near Gale Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against the wind. 8 39-46 34-40 Gale Breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress. 9 47-54 41-47 Severe Gale Slight structural damage occurs (chimney-pots and slates removed). 10 55-63 48-55 Storm Seldom experienced inland; trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs. 11 64-72 56-63 Violent Storm Very rarely experienced; accompanied by wide-spread damage. 12 73-83 64-71 Hurricane -- BEAUFORT SCALE: Specifications and equivalent speeds for use at sea FORCE EQUIVALENT SPEED DESCRIPTION SPECIFICATIONS FOR USE AT SEA 10 m above ground miles/hour knots 0 0-1 0-1 Calm Sea like a mirror 1 1-3 1-3 Light air Ripples with the appearance of scales are formed, but without foam crests. 2 4-7 4-6 Light Breeze Small wavelets, still short, but more pronounced. Crests have a glassy appearance and do not break. 3 8-12 7-10 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets. Crests begin to break. Foam of glassy appearance. Perhaps scattered white horses. 4 13-18 11-16 Moderate Breeze Small waves, becoming larger; fairly frequent white horses. 5 19-24 17-21 Fresh Breeze Moderate waves, taking a more pronounced long form; many white horses are formed. Chance of some spray. 6 25-31 22-27 Strong Breeze Large waves begin to form; the white foam crests are more extensive everywhere. Probably some spray. 7 32-38 28-33 Near Gale Sea heaps up and white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown in streaks along the direction of the wind. 8 39-46 34-40 Gale Moderately high waves of greater length; edges of crests begin to breakinto spindrift. The foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind. 9 47-54 41-47 Severe Gale High waves. Dense streaks of foam along the direction of the wind. Crests of waves begin to topple, tumble and roll over. Spray may affect visibility. 10 55-63 48-55 Storm Very high waves with long over- hanging crests. The resulting foam, in great patches, is blown in dense white streaks along the direction of the wind. On the whole the surface of the sea takes on a white appearance. The 'tumbling' of the sea becomes heavy and shock-like. Visibility affected. 11 64-72 56-63 Violent Storm Exceptionally high waves (small and medium-size ships might be for a time lost to view behind the waves). The sea is completely covered with long white patches of foam lying along the direction of the wind. Everywhere the edges of the wave crests are blown into froth. Visibility affected. 12 73-83 64-71 Hurricane The air is filled with foam and spray. Sea completely white with driving spray; visibility very seriously affected.