Established in 1962

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Beaufort Wind Scale

Force

Wind Speed

Description

Effects on Land and at Sea

mph km/hr knots
0 <1 <1 <1 Calm Still, calm air, smoke will rise vertically. Water is mirror-like.
1 1-3
mph
1-5
kph
1-3
knots
Light Air Rising smoke drifts, wind vane is inactive. Small ripples appear on water surface.
2 4-7
mph
6-11
kph
4-6
knots
Light Breeze Leaves rustle, can feel wind on your face, wind vanes begin to move. Small wavelets develop, crests are glassy.
3 8-12
mph
12-19
kph
7-10
knots
Gentle Breeze Leaves and small twigs move, light weight flags extend. Large wavelets, crests start to break, some whitecaps.
4 13-18
mph
20-28
kph
11-16
knots
Moderate Breeze Small branches move, raises dust, leaves and paper. Small waves develop, becoming longer, whitecaps.
5 19-24
mph
29-38
kph
17-21
knots
Fresh Breeze Small trees sway. White crested wavelets (whitecaps) form, some spray.
6 25-31
mph
39-49
kph
22-27
knots
Strong Breeze Large tree branches move,  telephone wires begin to "whistle", umbrellas are difficult to keep under control. Larger waves form, whitecaps prevalent, spray.
7 32-38
mph
50-61
kph
28-33
knots
Moderate or Near Gale Large trees sway, becoming difficult to walk. Larger waves develop, white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown.
8 39-46
mph
62-74
kph
34-40
knots
Gale or Fresh Gale Twigs and small branches are broken from trees, walking is difficult. Moderately large waves with blown foam.
9 47-54
mph
75-88
kph
41-47
knots
Strong Gale Slight damage occurs to buildings, shingles are blown off of roofs. High waves (6 meters), rolling seas, dense foam, Blowing spray reduces visibility.
10 55-63
mph
89-102
kph
48-55
knots
Whole Gale or Storm Trees are broken or uprooted, building damage is considerable. Large waves (6-9 meters), overhanging crests, sea becomes white with foam, heavy rolling, reduced visibility.
11 64-72
mph
103-117
kph
56-63
knots
Violent Storm Extensive widespread damage. Large waves (9-14 meters), white foam, visibility further reduced.
12 73+
mph
118+
kph
64+
knots
Hurricane Extreme destruction, devastation. Large waves over 14 meters, air filled with foam, sea white with foam and driving spray, little visibility.

 

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