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Beaufort Scale

Suggestion - check the small print on your insurance policy regarding the maximum wind force  you are  allowed to use your boat in .


Force Wind
(Knots)
WMO
Classification
Appearance of Wind Effects
On the Water On Land
0 Less than 1 Calm Sea surface smooth and mirror-like Calm, smoke rises vertically
1 1-3 Light Air Scaly ripples, no foam crests Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes
2 4-6 Light Breeze Small wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, vanes begin to move
3 7-10 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended
4 11-16 Moderate Breeze Small waves 1-4 ft. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps Dust, leaves, and loose paper lifted, small tree branches move
5 17-21 Fresh Breeze Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray Small trees in leaf begin to sway
6 22-27 Strong Breeze Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray Larger tree branches moving, whistling in wires
7 28-33 Near Gale Sea heaps up, waves 13-20 ft, white foam streaks off breakers Whole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind
8 34-40 Gale Moderately high (13-20 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks Whole trees in motion, resistance felt walking against wind
9 41-47 Strong Gale High waves (20 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility Slight structural damage occurs, slate blows off roofs
10 48-55 Storm Very high waves (20-30 ft) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility Seldom experienced on land, trees broken or uprooted, "considerable structural damage"
11 56-63 Violent Storm Exceptionally high (30-45 ft) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced  
12 64+ Hurricane Air filled with foam, waves over 45 ft, sea completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reduced  

Just another description

 
Beaufort
Number
Wind
(knots)
Desriptive
Term
Land Observations Sea Observations
0 <1 Calm Calm, smoke rises vertically Water calm, mirrorlike (.25 ft. waves)
1 1-3 Light air Wind direction shown by smoke but not by windvanes Ripples with the appearance of scales (.5 to 1 ft. waves)
2 4-6 Light breeze Leaves rustle; wind felt on face; windvanes moved by wind Small wavelets on water; crests have a glassy appearance and do not break.
2-3 ft.
3 7-10 Gentle breeze Leaves and twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag Large wavelets; crests begin to break; maybe scattered whitecaps. 3.5 to 5 ft.
4 11-16 Moderate breeze Wind raises dust and loose paper; small branches move Moderate waves; fairly frequent whitecaps 6 to 8 ft.
5 17-21 Fresh breeze Small leafed trees begin to sway Moderate, longer waves; many whitecaps; chance of spray. 9.5 to 13 ft.
6 22-27 Strong breeze Large branches in motion; phone lines whistle Large waves form; white foam crests everywhere; probable spray. 13.5 to 19 ft.
7 28-33 Moderate gale Whole trees in motion; difficult to walk against wind Sea heaps up; white foam starts to blow in streaks.  18 to 25 ft.
8 34-40 Fresh gale Wind breaks twigs off trees; walking impeded Moderately high waves with crests beginning to break into foam that's blown in white streaks.  23 to 32 ft.
9 41-47 Strong gale Slight damage to buildings occurs; shingles torn off roofs High waves; rolling seas; dense streaks of foam; wave crests begin to topple, tumble and fall over.  29-41 ft.
10 48-55 Whole gale Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage to buildings High waves with overhanging crests; sea is white.  64-72 ft.
11-17 56+ Storm, Hurricane Widespread damage Huge waves; air filled with spray; little visibility
73 ft. +

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