WIND FORCE SCALE - Beaufort scale chart

Beaufort scale of wind strength presented in a chart with a description of each category. The graphic in the table shows the effect of wind force on the surroundings.

The Beaufort Scale is a scale used to measure wind strength at sea.  According to the scale, the strength of the wind can be assessed by observing its effect on the sea and objects moving at sea. The Beaufort scale has 13 degrees, numbered from 0 to 12, with a description of the characteristics for each degree. 

Beaufort scale chart

Categories of the Beaufort scale

0 - Calm (0): The sea is calm and mirrored.

1 - Light air (1-3 knots): Small waves with gentle crests, smoke rising straight up.

2 - Light breeze (4-6): Waves short but already visible, white foam appears on wave crests.

3 - Gentle breeze (7-10): Waves of medium length, shaping into fairly long crests, foam starting to be significantly visible.

4 - Moderate breeze (11-16): Longer waves, shaping into long ridges, breaking waves are observed.

5 - Fresh breeze (17-21): Increase in wave heights, foam splashes in the air, difficulty walking upwind.

6 - Strong breeze (22-27): High wave heights, lots of foam in the air, difficulty balancing.

7 - High wind, moderate gale, near gale (28-33): Very high waves with long crests, lots of foam visible, difficulty walking at sea.

8 - Gale, fresh gale (34-40): Huge waves, sea completely converging, very difficult sea conditions.

9 - Strong/severe gale (41-47): Large waves, difficult to distinguish from each other, large amount of foam visible, very dangerous sea.

10 - Storm whole gale (48-55): Extreme conditions, giant waves, dangerous sea, risk of damage to ships.

11 - Violent strom (56-63): Huge waves, air saturated with foam, extremely dangerous sea.

12 - Hurricane force (64 and above): Extremely dangerous conditions, huge waves, visible damage at sea.

The Beaufort Scale is still used to assess sea conditions and is helpful in improving shipping safety.

It was created by Sir Francis Beaufort, an officer in the Royal British Navy, in the 19th century.