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Beaufort Scale (Wind Speed)
Force Speed
Name Sea Conditions Conditions on Land
0 < 1 < 2 < 1 Calm Sea like a mirror. Smoke rises vertically.
1 1-3 1-5 1-4 Light air Ripples only. Smoke drifts and leaves rustle.
2 4-6 6-11 5-7 Light breeze Small wavelets (0.2 m). Crests have a glassy appearance. Wind felt on face.
3 7-10 12-19 8-11 Gentle breeze Large wavelets (0.6 m), crests begin to break. Flags extended, leaves move.
4 11-16 20-29 12-18 Moderate breeze Small waves (1 m), some whitecaps. Dust and small branches move.
5 17-21 30-39 19-24 Fresh breeze Moderate waves (1.8 m), many whitecaps. Small trees begin to sway.
6 22-27 40-50 25-31 Strong breeze Large waves (3 m), probably some spray. Large branches move, wires whistle, umbrellas are difficult to control.
7 28-33 51-61 32-38 Near gale Mounting sea (4 m) with foam blown in streaks downwind. Whole trees in motion, inconvenience in walking.
8 34-40 62-74 39-46 Gale Moderately high waves (5.5 m), crests break into spindrift. Difficult to walk against wind. Twigs and small branches blown off trees.
9 41-47 76-87 47-54 Strong gale High waves (7 m), dense foam, visibility affected. Minor structural damage may occur (shingles blown off roofs).
10 48-55 88-102 55-63 Storm Very high waves (9 m), heavy sea roll, visibility impaired. Surface generally white. Trees uprooted, structural damage likely.
11 56-63 103-118 64-73 Violent storm Exceptionally high waves (11 m), visibility poor. Widespread damage to structures.
12 64+ 119+ 74+ Hurricane 14 m waves, air filled with foam and spray, visibility bad. Severe structural damage to buildings, wide spread devastation.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term "super typhoon" is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

Category Sustained Winds Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
1 74-95 mph
64-82 kt
119-153 km/h
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
2 96-110 mph
83-95 kt
154-177 km/h
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
111-129 mph
96-112 kt
178-208 km/h
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
157 mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
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