Thread: Beaufort Scale
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Old 4th July 2011, 11:30 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459


The Beaufort scale is more an indicator of "conditions" than simple wind speed. To my mind that makes it more usefull . Use of knots I think you`ll find (historically) was (is?) more likely to be used for boat speed. (its where the term derives from;knots in a measuring rope at set distances apart) Sailors wouldnt give wind speed in knots they would refer to Beaufort.???

When we are discussing wind speed we have started to talk of 5 metre (or such) weather which again is more descriptive but its a personal subjective measure. (My 5 metre weather is totally different to daughter`s but getting closer ???) But if a sailor says its 5 metre weather I know what he means !!!

In UK I`ve never heard a sailor refer to windspeed in Km/h ;m/s ;occasionnally mph or knots we nearly always use Beaufort or sail size ??? (even more confusing; 6 metre weather or F6 weather ???. The different language is all part of the sport ???)

My mates who race cars always talk in m/s ;where`s that come from ???I havent got a clue in m/s but Dutch/German lads in Canaries also use m/s ????

What about ;
no wind; a bit windy;windy; very windy; blowing a gale; dont bother ??? that works too !!!

Few years ago I went to Jamaica in November , knowing I`d be coming back in January. Asked fishermen on beach if it would be windy on my return.
" No man; no wind then." from all of them.
Came back in January (with no kit) and on beach there was a perfect F5 cross shore with nice waves every day for 3 weeks !!! Asked same fishermen what was going on ?
"This aint wind man; this is just a breeze;Christmas breeze, come back in August for wind"

August is hurricane season.!!! The Jamaicans have a different perspective after Katrina !!!

PS Just read Nakaniko`s comments.
You are right; looking a trees in winter gives a different windspeed to that in Spring(leaves,buds;water content etc) Sand on beach is correct too. Damp/dry/exposed but its a good "estimate" and I`ve found better than anerometer. Bearing was going on mine; would be blowing 35 knots but reading 25 ??? Effects on the sea however are pretty constant but not perfect. Allowance must be made for wind against or with tide which will alter effects it has.. All part of experience.. I dont use anerometer...New fangled gadgets !!! Stick my finger in air and rig a 6... You never really know til you get out ????

PS Easy conversion
knots to mph add 10% (50 knots is about 55 mph)

mph to knots Knock off 10%. (30 mph is about 27 knots)

Last edited by Floyd; 4th July 2011 at 11:42 PM.
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