Estimating Wind Speed With Only a Flag

Beaufort Method

  • Find a flag blowing in the wind. This method requires no math but more of a subjective reading. The Beaufort Method uses a heavy flag, which are large flags found at military bases or weather stations.

  • Observe how it reacts to the wind. If the flag is not moving at all, the wind speed is below 11 mph.

  • Observe the flag. If it flaps lightly and sporadically the wind is blowing at around 12 to 18 mph.

  • Estimate the flapping of the flag. If the flag is flapping over the whole length of the flag, it is blowing at around 19 to 24 mph.

  • Measure how far the flag extends in the wind. If it is partially extended and flaps quickly, the wind speed is 25 to 31 mph. A fully extended flag flapping hard in the wind will be around 32 to 37 mph. It’s not possible to use a flag to measure any higher as the flag will react in the same way, even with harsher winds.

Read more: How to Calculate Wind Speed Angle Using a Flag |


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