In addition to wind direction and gusts, wind speed is one of three significant characteristics of air movement. We will learn what wind speed is considered windy? and how it is measured in this article. As a result, you can get better forecast weather and use the wind for sports; that would be impossible without this weather phenomenon.
What wind speed is considered windy?
Let’s begin with the air itself. The change in temperature causes the air in the atmosphere to move from high to low pressure. As a result of this movement, the wind is created. At a given moment, wind speed measures how far air has traveled.
There is a difference between wind speed and wind gusts, which are short accelerations of wind speed lasting 20 to 30 seconds.
Atmospheric pressure gradients, Rossby waves (giant bends of high-altitude winds), jet streams, and local weather conditions influence wind speed and gusts. There is also a strong correlation between wind speed and wind direction.
Wind speed affects aviation, construction, and many sports and outdoor activities – windsurfing and kitesurfing, sailing, paragliding, etc. You should check the wind forecast before unwrapping your wind sail or kite.
How do we measure wind speed?
An anemometer is the most common tool or the instrument used to determine wind speed (and direction). Three or four cups are attached to a vertical pillar. By measuring the movement of air flows, we can determine wind speed. Other types of instruments can measure wind, however. Other factors include:
- Acoustic resonance anemometers are variants of ultrasonic anemometers, which do not have moving parts and measure wind speed with high-frequency sound.
- Laser Doppler anemometers use light beams from a laser based on the principle of reflection.
Traditional and modern instruments measure wind speed in meters per second (m/s), miles per hour (mph), and kilometers per hour (kmh). World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommends the first unit for measuring wind. Most countries use m/s for measuring speed, except the United States, which uses mph.
There are also two other standard measurement units, which may seem strange: knots and Beaufort. Sailors and fishermen commonly use knots in the sea, but what is Beaufort?
Beaufort’s wind force scale relates wind speed to observed conditions on land and at sea before anemometers were invented. This scale was used to measure the wind before anemometers were invented. Therefore, wind speed and strength are not measured by specific instruments but by human observation. Francis Beaufort, an Irish hydrographer, meteorologist, and Royal Navy officer (later Rear Admiral), created this scale in 1805.
Additionally, wind speed is measured at 10 meters (32 feet) above sea level. Anemometers are often mounted on roofs of buildings and other places, not on the ground. As a result, the wind forecast in the app is always made at this exact height.
That doesn’t mean we don’t measure wind at other heights – we do; it’s just more difficult. Most people live near sea level, so such measurements are unnecessary for everyone. Mountain dwellers or those who do various air sports, such as ultralight pilots, may need to know the wind at higher altitudes, such as 2,000 or 3,000 meters (6,561 or 9,842 feet).
Here are three questions you’ve probably asked yourself about wind speed:
What is a high wind speed?
What wind speed is considered windy? Walking usually involves high wind speeds between 25 and 31 mph (11 to 13.8 m/s). Wind conditions called “Strong Breeze” cause the branches of trees to move continuously; power and telephone lines are whistled; umbrellas are challenging to use.
Low-speed winds are considered not strong or not fast, ranging from very light winds of 1 to 3 mph (0.4 to 1.3 ms/) to their complete absence (calm).
What wind speed is dangerous?
A dangerous wind speed is “Near Gale,” or 32 to 38 mph (14.3 to 16 m/s). During these windy conditions, the whole tree is moving; walking against the wind may be uncomfortable. Winds faster and stronger can break twigs and small branches; small trees can be blown over and uprooted. As a result, it causes more severe damage.
What wind speed is considered windy? Observations on land are relevant, as are the previous characteristics. We can measure the strength of the wind in the sea from the height and length of waves, white foam, and so on. Both land and sea observations are historically based on the Beaufort scale.
What wind speed is a hurricane?
In general, a storm occurs when the wind speed is between 64 and 75 mph (28 to 33 m/s), while a hurricane is the most potent and most destructive (tropical) storm when the speed is over 75 mph (33 m/s).
In addition to the strongest winds, hurricanes and storms cause flooding, thunderstorms, lightning, and other extreme weather conditions.
What is the fastest wind speed ever recorded?
The fastest wind speed was recorded in Australia during category four tropical cyclone Olivia on April 10, 1996. With a maximum wind gust of 253 mph (113 m/s, 408 km/h, 220 knots), this cyclone is one of the strongest ever seen. Barrow Island in Western Australia was used to measure the temperature. The same cyclone recorded several “slower” (but still extremely high) gusts, peaking at 180 km/h (49 m/s).
A previous record of 230 mph (103.3 m/s) was recorded across Mount Washington, New Hampshire, USA, in April 1934. WMO has officially confirmed both measurements.
What is the average wind speed?
Three hundred sixty-five days a year, multi-year weather observations (weather history) determine the average wind speed over a certain period. The data is divided by the number of days, months, years, and so on to determine the average wind speed. We know, for example, that the average wind speed in London in May is 3.5 m/s (7.8 mph) and that January and August are the windiest months. What wind speed is considered windy?
We can use this knowledge to build buildings correctly, plan other types of work, and practice wind sports and other outdoor activities.