Beaufort Wind Force Scale (noun): An empirical measure for describing wind velocity based mainly on observed sea conditions. The referee made reference to the Beaufort Scale when he made the public announcement about the abandonment of the world championship race.
Synonym: Beaufort Scale.
Beaufort No. -- Sea Conditions (wave height in meters)
0 - Flat (0 meters).
1 - Ripples without crests (0.1 meters).
2 - Small wavelets. Light breeze. Crests not breaking (0.2 meters).
3 - Large wavelets. Crests begin to break. Scattered whitecaps (0.6 meters).
4 - Small waves. Moderate breeze (1 meter).
5 - Moderate longer waves. Some foam and spray (2 meters).
6 - Large waves with foam crests and some spray. Strong breeze (3 meters).
7 - Sea heaps up and foam begins to streak. Moderate gale (4 meters).
8 - Moderately high waves with breaking crests (5.5 meters).
9 - High waves (6-7 m) with dense foam. Strong gale (7 meters).
10 - Very high waves. Visibility is reduced. Sea surface is white (9 meters).
11 - Exceptionally high waves. Violent storm (11.5 meters).
12 - Huge waves. Air filled with foam and spray. Hurricane (14+ meters).
Excerpt from the Open Water Swimming Dictionary (2009 English edition).
Photo by Dr. Jim Miller at the 25K world championships that was suspended due to a squall.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association