Beaufort Scale


Description Wind speed
10m above ground
Specification Probable Wave Height (max)
Land Sea Coast
0 Calm < 1 kt
0-0.2 m/s
< 1 km/h
< 1 mph
  • Calm
  • Smoke rises vertically
  • Sea like a mirror
  • Calm
0 m
0 ft
1 Light air 1-3 kt
0.3-1.5 m/s
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
  • Direction of wind shown by smoke drift but not by wind vanes
  • Ripples with the appearance of scales are formed, but without foam crests
  • Fishing smack just has steerage way
0.1 (0.1) m
0.25 (0.25) ft
2 Light breeze 4-6 kt
1.6-3.3 m/s
6-11 km/h
4-7 mph
  • Wind felt on face
  • Leaves rustle
  • Ordinary vanes moved by wind
  • Small wavelets, still short but more pronounced
  • Crests have a glassy appearance and do not break
  • Wind fills the sails of smacks which then travel at about 1-2 kt
0.2 (0.3) m
0.5 (1) ft
3 Gentle breeze 7-10 kt
3.4-5.4 m/s
12-19 km/h
8-12 mph
  • Leaves and small twigs in constant motion
  • Wind extends light flag
  • Large wavelets
  • Crests begin to break
  • Foam of glassy appearance
  • Perhaps scattered white horses
  • Smacks begin to careen and travel about 3-4 kt
0.6 (1) m
2 (3) ft
4 Moderate breeze 11-16 kt
5.5-7.9 m/s
20-28 km/h
13-18 mph
  • Raises dust and loose paper
  • Small branches are moved
  • Small waves, becoming longer
  • Fairly frequent white horses
  • Good working breeze
  • Smacks carry all canvas with good list
1 (1.5) m
3.5 (5) ft
5 Fresh breeze 17-21 kt
8.0-10.7 m/s
29-38 km/h
19-24 mph
  • Small trees in leaf begin to sway
  • Crested wavelets form on inland waters
  • Moderate waves, taking a more pronounced long form
  • Many white horses are formed (chance of some spray)
  • Smacks shorten sail
2 (2.5) m
6 (8.5) ft
6 Strong breeze 22-27 kt
10.8-13.8 m/s
39-49 km/h
25-31 mph
  • Large branches in motion
  • Whistling heard in telegraph wires
  • Umbrellas used with difficulty
  • Large waves begin to form
  • White foam crests are more extensive everywhere (probably some spray)
  • Smacks have double reef in mainsail
  • Care required when fishing
3 (4) m
9.5 (13) ft
7 Near gale 28-33 kt
13.9-17.1 m/s
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
  • Whole trees in motion
  • Inconvenience felt when walking against wind
  • Sea heaps up and white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown in streaks along the direction of the wind
  • Smacks remain in harbor and those at sea lie to
4 (5.5) m
13.5 (19) ft
8 Gale 34-40 kt
17.2-20.7 m/s
62-74 km/h
39-46 mph
  • Breaks twigs off trees
  • Generally impedes progress
  • Moderately high waves of greater length
  • Edges of crests begin to break into the spindrift
  • Foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind
  • All smacks make for harbor, if near
5.5 (7.5) m
18 (25) ft
9 Strong gale 41-47 kt
20.8-24.4 m/s
75-88 km/h
47-54 mph
  • Slight structural damage occurs (chimney pots and states removed)
  • 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
- 7 (10) m
23 (32) ft
10 Storm 48-55 kt
24.5-28.4 m/s
89-102 km/h
55-63 mph
  • Seldom experienced inland
  • Trees uprooted
  • Considerable structural damage occurs
  • Considerable structural damage occurs
  • Resulting foam, in great patches, is blown in dense white streaks along the directionof the wind
  • On the whole, the surface of the sea takes on a white appearance
  • Tumbling of the sea becomes heavy and shock-like
  • Visibility affected
- 9 (12.5) m
29 (41) ft
11 Violent storm 56-63 kt
28.5-32.6 m/s
103-117 km/h
64-72 mph
  • Very rarely experienced
  • Accompanied by widespread damage
  • Exceptionally high waves (small and medium-sized ships might be for a time lost to view behind waves)
  • 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
- 11.5 (16) m
37 (52) ft
12 Hurricane > 64 kt
> 32.7 m/s
> 118 km/h
> 73 mph
-
  • Air is filled with foam and spray
  • Sea completely white with driving spray
  • Visibility very seriously affected
- 14 (-) m
45 (-) ft


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