Survival Skill 6: How to Estimate Wind Speed by Observing Effect of Wind on Trees, Smoke…

Survival Skill 6: How to Estimate Wind Speed by Observing Effect of Wind on Trees, Smoke…

Wind shapes weather. And, if you understand the wind and its effect on the trees, smoke, water bodies, and other objects in an adventure destination, you can plan well and protect yourself. The Beaufort Scale lets you do this without any instrument. Remember the scale developed by Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort and interpret the wind in your next trip. Beaufort in fact has given the names to the wind according to the speed. Here is the scale:

 

S. No.
Observations
Name of Wind
Speed of Wind
         

   
  
            
Miles per hour (mph)
Kilometer per hour (kph)

0
Smoke, say from a fire made for cooking or chimney of forest rest house, moves up in straight line.
Calm
< 1
< 1

1
Smoke does not move up in straight line.
Light Air
1 – 3
1 – 5

2
Leaves rustle.

You can feel the wind on your face.

Light Breeze
4 – 7
6 -11

3
Small twigs and leaves move.

Thin flags rise and flutter.

Gentle Breeze
8 – 12
12 – 19

4
Small branches of trees move.

Loose paper sheets and dust rise.

Flags flap.

Moderate Breeze
13 – 18
20 – 29

5
Small trees laden with leaves sway.

Flags ripple.

Small waves form in lakes.

Fresh Breeze
19 – 24
30 – 39

6
Big branches of trees sway.

Flags beat.

Wind whistles through telegraph wires.

You cannot keep your umbrella open easily.

Strong Breeze
25 – 31
40 – 50

7
Whole trees move.

Walking is inconvenient.

Flags extend.

Near Gale / Moderate Gale
32 – 38
51 – 61

8
Small twigs break off the trees.

Walking against the wind is difficult.

Gale / Fresh Gale
39 – 46
62 – 74

9
Structural damage to buildings begins.
Strong Gale
47 – 54
75 – 87

10
Structural damages are considerable.

Trees are uprooted.

Windows break.

Storm / Full Gale
55 – 63
88 – 102

11
Damage is widespread.
Violent Storm
64 – 75
103 – 121

12
This wind flows at sea.

Foam and spray reduce visibility drastically.

Sea surface becomes white.

Hurricane
> 75
>121

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