Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Amazing Beaufort Scale Cartoon

Howtoons -- the comic strip for kids that explains how to build cool stuff -- has just launched on the Web. The artwork is great and the projects are interesting. While perusing the site, I came across this great cartoon that illustrates wind strengths on the Beaufort scale. When I was sailing Optimists as a kid in England we used to refer to wind strength using the Beaufort scale instead of using knots. No one seems to use it in the US, but I always liked it because it is based on observations which are easy to differentiate, rather than wind speeds which are hard to judge. For example, the difference between a Force 3 and a Force 4 is that white caps have started to form.

Click for huge version.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's great!

I prefer to teach the Beaufort Scale over actual wind speeds here in Colorado, due to high elevation and small water. The high elevation means the wind has less mass and thus less energy than at sea level. The small fetch means it takes a higher wind speed to produce the same water effect. The two just about cancel each other out.

I'll bet the Royal Navy didn't have us in mind when developing the scale, but it works for us.

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