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


What We Can See

0 mph (0 km/h)


Smoke rises

1-3 mph (1-5

Light air

Smoke drifts

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

Light breeze

Leaves rustle

8-12 mph (12-19

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


As Featured On Ezine Articles

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