NOT ACTUALLY A POEM but some extremely great science writing that the weather service still uses, it gets me so HET UP as I read it because I am like “YEAH those branches are gonna start swaying!!! oh heck oh heck here it comes! MORE WIND!” Anyhow, here it is.
Description on Land | Description at Sea
Calm: Smoke rises vertically. | Sea like a mirror.
Light: Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vanes moved by wind. | Small wavelets, ripples formed but do not break: A glassy appearance maintained.
Moderate: Raises dust and loose paper; small branches begin to move. | Small waves with breaking crests. Frequent whitecaps.
Fresh: Small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters. | Moderate waves, taking a more pronounced long form; many white horses are formed – a chance of spray.
Strong: Large branches in motion; whistling heard in telephone wires; umbrellas used with difficulty. | Large waves begin to form; the white foam crests are more extensive with probably some spray.
Near-gale: Whole trees in motion. Effort needed to walk against the wind. | Sea heaps up and white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown in streaks along direction of wind.
Gale: Twigs break off trees; progress generally impeded. | Moderately high waves of greater length; edges of crests begin to break into spindrift; foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind.
Strong gale: Slight structural damage occurs – roofing dislodged; larger branches break off. | High waves; dense streaks of foam; crests of waves begin to topple, tumble and roll over; spray may affect visibility.
Storm: Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage. | Very high waves with long overhanging crests; the resulting foam in great patches is blown in dense white streaks; the surface of the sea takes on a white appearance; the tumbling of the sea becomes heavy.
Violent storm: Very rarely experienced – widespread damage. | Exceptionally high waves; small and medium sized ships occasionally lost from view behind waves; the sea is completely covered with long white patches of foam; the edges of wave crests are blown into froth.
Hurricane: Very rarely experienced – widespread damage | The air is filled with foam. Sea completely white with driving spray.
Ahh, it’s such a thrill ride from start to finish! THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Thanks, Naval Officer Francis Beaufort!
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.