Beaufort scale: current wind and the Beaufort scale

Beaufort scale

The 'Beaufort scale' has been around for some time. After all, it was in the year 1805 that the Irishman Francis Beaufort came up with this. Francis invented the Beaufort scale with which the wind can be mapped. Wind units in kilometers per hour (km/h), knots (kts or kt) and meters per second (m/s) are now widely used. The Beaufort scale model is extremely useful because the model can be used to define wind forces. Below we show you the table.

Beaufort scale table

Because the Beaufort scale is used worldwide, it is a handy model. After studying the table below, we recommend that you continue reading about points for attention. You can also go directly to the current wind en wind forecast pages go. Tip: save it to your favorites or the home screen of your smart phone.

Why the Beaufort scale?

The Beaufort scale helps you to better estimate the wind and shows how Beaufort (Bft), meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h) and knots (kt) relate to each other. Especially for water sports enthusiasts and other interested parties, you can also read how the Beaufort in question affects the water and the sea. This way you can also make an estimate of the wind force at the water itself.

Beaufort scaleName km/hM / sKtWind force description effect on the water and the sea
0Style0 – 10 – 0,20 – 1The inland water and the sea are mirror-smooth
1Weak1 – 50,3 – 1,51 – 3Small ripple waves on inland waters and the sea
2Weak6 – 111,6 – 3,34 – 6Small short waves with glass tips that do not break. No frothy cups.
3Mediocre12 – 193,4 – 5,47 – 10Small waves that break. Very small froths become visible.
4Mediocre20 – 285,5 – 7,911 – 16Waves get a little bigger and longer. Foam cups are now clearly visible.
5Pretty powerful29 388,0 – 10,717 – 21Moderate waves at sea and steep waves on inland waters. Foam heads are visible everywhere.
6Powerful39 – 4910,8 – 13,822 – 27At sea, the waves break and large white foam spots are formed behind the waves. There is blowing foam.
7Hard50 – 6113,9 – 17,128 – 33Waves at sea are getting higher. The foam patches now become streaks in the direction of the sea. There is drifting sand on the beach.
8Stormy62 – 7417,2 – 20,734 – 40Moderately high waves. The tops of the waves blow off and form thick foam stripes.
9Storm75 – 8820,8 – 24,441 – 47High waves. Rollers form heavy foam stripes. Wind-blown foam can impair vision.
10Heavy storm89 – 10224,5 – 28,448 – 55Very high waves. Heavy skipping roller forms heavy white streaks. Visibility is impaired.
11Very severe storm103 – 11728,5 – 32,656 – 63Extremely high waves. The sea is completely covered with foam stripes. Visibility is greatly reduced.
12Hurricane> 117> 32,6> 63The sea is completely white with foam. No view due to blown sea water and foam in the air.
Beaufort scale abbreviations: Beaufort (Bft), kilometers per hour (km/h), meters per second (m/s), knots (kt)

Example Beaufort scale on the water

To give an example of how you can increase your insight using the Beaufort scale, the image below. Foam heads are visible on the water in front of it Brouwersdam. This indicates wind force 4.

BFT translation on water

Take wind gusts into account

Because the Beaufort scale does not indicate wind gusts, the model has proved too limited for interested parties. Think of wind sports enthusiasts such as kitesurfers, windsurfers, wing foilers, sailors as well as sectors that take wind into account when working. After all, the Beaufort scale is based on the average wind speed signs measured over 10 minutes. This calculation does not take gusts of wind into account, while gusts of wind are extremely important to take into account. Especially in countries or areas where there are almost always gusts of wind.

Wind forecast subpages

Would you like to read more about the Beaufort scale with the best links to the current wind below the subpages? You can do this via the links below. For example, to information about wind forecast a few days ahead.

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