General

Beaufort scale


What is the Beaufort scale?

The Beaufort scale is a thirteen-level scale for measuring wind force. Although the use of wind forces is common in the weather forecast, the Beaufort scale is almost never mentioned.
Although named after the British admiral and hydrograph Francis Beaufort (see picture), Beaufort has not developed the scale itself. John Smeaton and Alexander Dalyrymple had previously presented similar scales to the wind force.
Meanwhile, there are some extensions for the Beaufort scale. For Germany, these are practically not important, as wind speeds beyond 200 km / h in Central Europe are absolute exceptions. For example, the Fujita scale goes far beyond 500km / h and is therefore largely theoretical. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale is only used in America.
Originally developed for the sea and shipping, the criterion for the classification in a certain wind strength was not the wind speed, but the behavior of the waves at sea. In the meantime, conversion tables with different units (km / h, m / s and knots) allow the Beaufort wind force to be stated also on a quantitative level. Below is the Beaufort scale, with the usual unit for Europe (km / h) shown.

The Beaufort scale (table)

wind strengthkm / hdescription
00 - 1calm
11 - 5quiet train
26 - 11Light breeze
312 - 19gentle breeze
420 - 28moderate breeze
529 - 38Fresh breeze
639 - 49strong wind
750 - 61stiff wind
862 - 74stormy wind
975 - 88Storm
1089 - 102heavy storm
11103 - 117hurricane storm
12over 117hurricane