/ how windy is windy?

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I always study weather forecasts obsessively, usually several times a day in the run up to a w/e away.

I obviously look at temperature, humidity and cloud cover to guess conditions, but I never really look at wind.

Wind directio is an obvious, but what about speed?
When do things start to feel windy? Is 10mph windy?

the problem with that question is that people will have different ideas of what windy is.

Wikipedia has quite good descriptions of what different winds feel/look like on here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale (look at the 3rd and 6th columns in the table)
In reply to Owen W-G: I usually think of 30mph to be rather blustery, 40mph enough to disrupt your balance, 50mph enough to blow you sideways if it catches you off balance, 60mph will move you and is dangerous on ridges, 70mph plus is really windy and could blow you over.

People often tend to over estimate wind speed: "It was extreme, man. We were getting blown over in gnarly 100mph gusts" probably means around 70mph.
In reply to Owen W-G: 10mph is a gentle breeze (unless in the UK, where it becomes a gale)

Depends what you are doing? Building a tower out of a pack of playing cards require less wind than flying a kite

Here's an image of a 300ft abseil where the wind was that strong you ended up crossing 2 hard shoulders and 6 lanes of motorway! Very windy, but not too windy to work.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21913923@N03/2220949005/in/set-72157603679761232

The abseiler in the photo is Zaff Ali; if anyone knows what he's up to these days? He did some hard problems and routes in the Peak during the 90's.
> (In reply to Owen W-G) 10mph is a gentle breeze (unless in the UK, where it becomes a gale)

It's enough to mess up my hair, and therefore 10mph is way too windy for me.

I've had too many epics in windspeeds higher than this to venture out in anything more than a force 2 gale now.
In reply to Owen W-G: other thing is the local (and really local) geography can make a massive difference that the forecast can't predict. Within a surprisingly short distance it can go from slightly blustery to dangerous gales.
It's all a bit of a sliding scale really. badoom tish!

For the average climber in the UK, what you really need to do is work up some sort of conversion that includes air temperature, wind speed and sun intensity all together because any one can really bork the equation.
e.g. I find I can climb down to about 2 or 3 celcius so long as there is no wind and full sun somewhere between april and october but equally I could find that I can't keep circulation in my fingers at 15 degrees when there is a 30mph wind and the crag is in the shade.

Purely on the wind subject, for me:
10mph - light breeze, very pleasant.
20-25mph - fairly windy, not great for balancy routes but definitely something that can be put up with if you are keen
35-40mph - Clinging to the cliff to stay on, maybe only moving between gusts, not really climbing weather.
70-80mph - crawling only near cliff edge, very hard to set up anchor, can't let go of abseil ropes, dangling over Screaming Geo becomes seriously worrying.
In reply to henwardian: 200-300mph - bark stripped from trees...

Stick your head out of a moving car. Even 50mph feels pretty windy !
In reply to GrahamD: a mere gale. have you heard of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujita_scale

I have now ! hopefully not something I'll be needing to use in anger.
I rather agree with Owen on this. It also really does depend on other factors too .

How dry/wet the air is
If you're climbing, where on the crag are you
How fast you're moving.
How long your un outs are
Individual factors such as the clothing you are wearing and whether you are used to being in or out of the wind. I work outside in all weathers and it's noticeable how those I've been with who work totally indoors will say to me, "Isn't it windy today?", when I really don't think it is!

etc.,

> 200-300mph - bark stripped from trees...

Well, yes, and at 15000mph, everything would burst into flames because of the frictional heating but I was sticking to what I have experienced ;)

> a mere gale. have you heard of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujita_scale

Hasn't that been replaced by the Enhanced Fujita Scale? :P

25mph and gusting higher is enough to be unpleasant at venues like Stanage that catch all the wind going, I'd probably go out of my way for somewhere sheltered.
In reply to Owen W-G: The wind's effect on you increases at the square of the windspeed. So as it gets windier it gets more difficult to move around increasingly quickly.

For example, an increase from 10 to 20 knots doesn't have much effect but an increase from 40 to 50 knots is a pretty big deal.