Nature Activity: How to Calculate Wind Speed

You can determine how fast the wind is blowing by using the chart below.

This chart provides useful information when you are out on the trail or observing the wind’s impact from indoors. Use it in addition to building your own anemometer and read How to Deal With High Winds: Common Sense Tips for additional information on the wind’s power.


Speed of Moving Air


Name


What We Can See


0 mph (0 km/h)

Calm


Smoke rises

1-3 mph (1-5
km/h)

Light air


Smoke drifts


4-7 mph (6-11 km/h)


Light breeze


Leaves rustle


8-12 mph (12-19
km/h)


Gentle breeze


Leaves and twigs


13-18 mph (20-29 km/h)


Moderate breeze


Branches move


19-24 mph (30-39 km/h)


Fresh breeze


Saplings sway/white caps on water


25-31 mph (40-50 km/h)


Strong breeze


Large branches move


32-38 mph (51-61 km/h)


Moderate gale


Entire trees sway


39-46 mph (62-74 km/h)


Fresh gale


Twigs break/ walking is a challenge


47-54 mph (75-87 km/h)


Strong gale


Branches, street signs blow down


55-63 mph (88-102 km/h)


Full gale


Trees uprooted


64-72 mph (103-121 km/h)


Storm force


Structures damaged


73+ mph (122+ km/h)


Hurricane force


Widespread devastation

 


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