It was a gorgeous day to take a walk down by Lake Estes. You can still see all of the snow up on the mountains, while it was fun to see the kayakers out on the lake. It’s starting to feel a bit like summer.
Sometimes it gets so windy here in Estes Park that we wonder just what the wind velocity is or how many mhp the gusts are. When we used to ocean kayak we were always aware of the winds and how strong they were. Phil would always use the Beaufort Wind Scale to determine the wind velocity to see if it was safe to paddle that day or to head home if the winds really kicked up while we were paddling.
It’s really easy to use. As the wind picks up, you can tell its mph or knots by looking at a flag or at the waves on the water.
1: 1-3 mph: Light air rising, smoke drifts, wind vane is inactive and small ripples appear on water surface.
2: 4-7 mph: Light breeze, leaves rustle, can feel wind on your face, wind vanes begin to move and small wavelets develop, crests are glassy.
3: 8-12 mph: Gentle breeze, leaves and small twigs move, light weight flags extend and large wavelets, crests start to break, some whitecaps.
4: 13-18 mph: Moderate breeze, small branches move, raises dust, leaves and paper and small waves develop, becoming longer, whitecaps.
5: 19-24 mph: Fresh breeze, small trees sway and whitecaps form, some spray.
6: 25-31 mph: Strong Breeze Large tree branches move, telephone wires begin to “whistle”, umbrellas are difficult to keep under control, larger waves form, whitecaps prevalent, spray.
7: 32-38 mph: Moderate or near gale, large trees sway, becoming difficult to walk and larger waves develop, white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown.
8: 39-46 mph Gale, winds, twigs and small branches are broken from trees, walking is difficult and moderately large waves with blown foam.
9: 47-54 mph: Strong gale, Slight damage occurs to buildings, shingles are blown off of roofs, high waves (6 meters), rolling seas, dense foam, blowing spray reduces visibility.
10: 55-63 mph: Whole gale or storm, trees are broken or uprooted, building damage is considerable and large waves (6-9 meters), overhanging crests, sea becomes white with foam, heavy rolling, reduced visibility.
11: 64-72 mph: Violent storm, extensive widespread damage and large waves (9-14 meters), white foam, visibility further reduced.
12: 73+ mph: Hurricane, extreme destruction, devastation and large waves over 14 meters, air filled with foam, sea white with foam and driving spray, little visibility.
Next time it’s windy, take a look at a nearby flag or the waves on the water and see if you can determine the wind speed wherever you are. We were driving by The Stanley Hotel a few days ago and took a picture of the flag blowing on top…we thought the winds must be about 19-24 mph. I wonder what the winds are today?!