What wind speeds can do

Meteorologists still use the wind-force scale developed by Sir Francis Beaufort of the British Royal Navy in the early 1800s.

Wind damage

FORCE 0
Less than 1 mph

Completely calm. Smoke rises vertically.

Wind damage

FORCE 1
1-3 mph

Smoke drifts, but weather vanes don't budge.

Wind damage

FORCE 2
4-7 mph

Leaves rustle, weather vanes turn and you can feel a breeze.

Wind damage

FORCE 3
8-12 mph

Light flags extend, but the breeze remains gentle.

Wind damage

FORCE 4
13-18 mph

Hang onto loose paper. Small tree branches move.

Wind damage

FORCE 5
19-24 mph

Small, leafy trees begin to sway.

Wind damage

FORCE 6
25-31 mph

Larger tree branches move. Umbrellas can turn inside out.

Wind damage

FORCE 7
32-38 mph

Whole trees move; walkers feel wind resistance.

Wind damage

FORCE 8
39-46 mph

Trees sway more, and twigs break; walking is tough.

Wind damage

FORCE 9
47-54 mph

Minor damage to buildings begins to occur.

Wind damage

FORCE 10
55-63 mph

Trees break or fall, and structural damage is considerable.

Wind damage

FORCE 11
64 mph+

A rare wind this strong causes widespread damage.

SOURCE: NOAA. GRAPHIC: Laura Stanton and Bonnie Berkowitz - The Washington Post. Published Aug. 26, 2011.