Did you know you can estimate wind speed by looking at common objects around you? As sailors, we learned this skill many years ago and it is just as handy around the city as it is at sea.
These flags beating in the breeze in front of the Algonquin Club on Commonwealth Avenue tell us that the wind is at 25-31 miles per hour. This estimate is based on the Beaufort Wind Scale which was created by Sir Francis Beaufort in 1805.
Admiral Beaufort portrait © National Maritime Museum, London
In addition to flags, you can use sea conditions (waves or lack of them) or the movement of smoke or trees to make an estimate. If you golf, we found this special modification to the Beaufort Scale for golfers.
Why do Bostonians need this skill?
Because we live in the true windy city according to MIT. "Boston is considered to be the windiest major metropolitan area with an average wind speed of 12.5 mph (20.1 kph) while Chicago is much further down the list at 10.4 mph (16.7 kph)."
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2014 Penny Cherubino, Admiral Beaufort portrait © National Maritime Museum, London
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