heretic (lurkingheretic) wrote in weathernerds,

Estimating windspeed by flags

I'm here in South Korea and Storm Meari just passed us by.  Of course this makes me a happy weathernerd!  According to Weather Underground she should be approaching the China border by tonight.

Last year when I first moved to this town I posted a video of the storm winds but failed to get any flags in the shot.  This year, while the storm is not as intense, I did get that detail.  I've looked at a couple of sailing websites to try to find a way to estimate windspeed by those flags but I'm not getting anything beyond "Don't sail today."  I was wondering if any of you could point me to a site where a person (like me) without formal instruments could get a sense of the wind.

FYI last couple of days it's rained hard with some gusts of wind.  Today the wind is nearly dry but a lot stronger.

Brief video under cut.

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So that's where all this crazy wind is coming from. I'm on the southwest coast of Japan (Yamaguchi prefecture). We got a huge downpour last night, then I had to chase some of the laundry I hung out across the street earlier today and just opening the window briefly while I was cleaning to air out some fumes managed to knock things off my shelves and break one of my plates! And the tree in my yard is looking decidedly less lush this afternoon, lol.

The Beaufort Scale has land condition measurements. You have whole trees in motion, so you're at at least a 7 and over 30mph/50kmh.
I foundthe US flag warning system via a quick search. See
Also, according to, "South Korea does not use visual warning signals at present. Instead, radio is used."
Not that kind of flag--this kind of flag. (That link only goes up to Beaufort 3, and I was looking for higher.) In the video just to the right of the tower are three flags on top of the local fire station. I can see them, and was hoping to use them and the neighborhood trees to guess approximate windspeed. tabular_rasa got it for me.
Ah. Got it. My good computer's power cord is broken and I can't watch videos on this one, so I just guessed at what you were talking about. That Beaufort scale is cool, thanks for the link.