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You are here: Home Nature/Science Beaufort Wind Force Scale

Beaufort Wind Force Scale Poster

Beaufort Wind Force Scale
Content-Intensive Poster
Item: EDU50
In Stock: Yes
36 x 24 in.
$7.95


The Beaufort scale (pronounced bow fort) is an empirical measure for describing wind speed. The terms it defines are used by meteorologists worldwide. Force 0 is calm, no wind. From there, it describes the various breezes, gales and storms, culminating in the Force 12 hurricane, which has winds of 75 mph or more.
Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was a hydrographer and top administrator in the British Navy. Sea captains used different terms to describe wind conditions, so, in 1805, Beaufort established a standard scale. It was originally based on observations of how the wind affected the sails on a ship. The Royal Navy required that the terms be used for ship log entries. The invention of the cup anemometer in 1846 resulted in the Beaufort Scale being expanded to include actual wind speeds. Years later, the steam engine ushered in the demise of sailing ships, so sea conditions were substituted for sail conditions. The scale was later expanded to show conditions on land.
Admiral Beaufort's original scale included sail setting guidelines, so we followed his example using a 40 foot sloop. Insets suggest sail settings and boat handling recommendations for each force. They also include safety recommendations.
This poster cites the official description of each wind force, but goes beyond that to show how it impacts both land and sea. The dramatic illustrations show increasingly powerful winds and waves systemically destroying a summer beach cottage and tearing off large sections of the cliff, severely eroding the shoreline. The terrifying sea conditions really put the little sloop in harm's way.
Knowledge of these visual standards makes it possible for anyone to determine wind speed based solely on observation, just like the master mariners of yesteryear. This is the first time that this important information has ever been presented in such detail in any media. It is an essential reference chart for meteorologists, seamen or anyone else who wants or needs to know how to identify weather conditions.