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Old September 14th, 2017, 11:59 PM   #14841
MattiG
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The Beaufort scale is not used in many countries.
The Nordic countries adopted meters per second as the official unit in 1976 and threw away the Beaufort scale.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 01:44 AM   #14842
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while m/s makes lots of sense, speeds on the same order of magnitude are done in km/h, which (due to non-SI unit for vehicle speed) makes things harder to deal with. 1m/s = 3.6km/h.

Even the British only really use Beaufort scale in nautical contexts - most famously the Shipping Forecast (eg Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. 7 to strong gale 9. Rain. Poor.). Regular weather forecasts will use Beaufort scale terms like 'gale', 'strong gale', etc to make clear the warning about strong winds, even if they deliberately never say the Beaufort number (unlike the Shipping Forecast)

An empirical description of 'hurricane-force' for winds over ≥ 118 km/h or 73 mph or 64 knots or 32.7 m/s (which aren't all the same value) conveys the message that this is severely strong quicker than the figures, especially if one isn't fluent in whichever units are being used. Like temperature, the exact figure is far from essential, and a description is more useful as that's what you want to know.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 04:43 AM   #14843
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I'm no meteorologist, so I don't know what this means, really, but in the U.S. something called the Saffer-Simpson (sp?) scale is used for classifications - "a category-3 hurricane" and the like... The weather reports will usually say both that classification and the winds in miles per hour. "100 miles per hour" is pretty easy to understand.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 10:26 AM   #14844
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The problem with the fixation on pure speed winds is that it ignores that, for all but the most powerful rare storms, storm surge and rain are bigger treats for a wider area than pure wind speeds. Irma did relatively minor wind damage in Florida (though it ravaged St. Maarten/S. Martin, Barbuda and Caicos), 90% of the damage there is due to flooding (from storm surge and rain). Harvey is an even starker example of that - stationary tropical storms can be extremely dangerous even if their winds are relatively tame.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 11:03 AM   #14845
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I'm no meteorologist, so I don't know what this means, really, but in the U.S. something called the Saffer-Simpson (sp?) scale is used for classifications - "a category-3 hurricane" and the like... The weather reports will usually say both that classification and the winds in miles per hour. "100 miles per hour" is pretty easy to understand.
The Saffer-Simpson scale is not really relevant in European context, as we don't experience hurricane/cyclone/typhoon style events caused by tropical depression. Even the strongest storm/Hurricanes experienced in the North Sea cannot qualify to anymore than a category 1 hurricane at the Saffer-Simpson scale.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 03:10 PM   #14846
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while m/s makes lots of sense, speeds on the same order of magnitude are done in km/h, which (due to non-SI unit for vehicle speed) makes things harder to deal with. 1m/s = 3.6km/h.
Well... The wind speed has virtually no direct connection to another things measured by units of speed. Therefore, the unit most often does not matter.

When the wind exceeds 8 m/s, then boating is unpleasant, and my boat stays moored. It if exceeds 15 m/s, then the weather is stormy. I do not need to convert these figures into any other units to understand them. I think this is basic reason why so many windspeed scales are in use. Some prefer m/s, some km/h, some knots, and even beauforts.

The conversion to knots is easy: 1 m/s equals to about 2 knots.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #14847
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I do not need to convert these figures into any other units to understand them.
It's a matter of being used to certain scales / measurement systems. Hence, the U.S. won't switch from Fahrenheit or gallons to Celsius and liters. And that's why the Netherlands still uses the Beaufort scale, which is based on the observation of the effect of wind on a vessel.

Meters per second is basically never used in non-scientific meteorological context in the Netherlands, wheareas a Scandinavian may be comfortable with 10 m/s, that figure would not be understood by the Dutch because it is never used.

Km/h is a convenient alternative because they are relatable to the speed of driving, something everyone is familiar with.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 04:23 PM   #14848
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Well... The wind speed has virtually no direct connection to another things measured by units of speed. Therefore, the unit most often does not matter.
Absolutely they aren't linked*, but - as the unit doesn't matter:
1) what's wrong with km/h that wind speed uses a different measure? It's like speaking English for everything else, but then suddenly dipping into Finnish to discuss the weather!
2) why unit-driven m/s rather than the meaning-driven Beaufort scale if the numbers and unit don't matter beyond people understanding what that means?

I really don't think that there's anything wrong with using m/s, or whatever, to measure wind speed. I'm just interested in why Nordic countries went down the path of divergence from the rest of the world, when the pattern is increasing conformity.

*Though the number of anti-non-metric debates where I've seen people praise metric for this and how it is ridiculous that ergs don't tell you how many cubic centimetres of water you can heat up by 1 degree by eating this candy bar, unlike 'metric' calories (of course the standard metric unit of energy is Joule, and it is much more useful to know about moving a weight of 1N how many metres, though still almost entirely irrelevant).
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Old September 15th, 2017, 09:05 PM   #14849
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The problem with the fixation on pure speed winds is that it ignores that, for all but the most powerful rare storms, storm surge and rain are bigger treats for a wider area than pure wind speeds. Irma did relatively minor wind damage in Florida (though it ravaged St. Maarten/S. Martin, Barbuda and Caicos), 90% of the damage there is due to flooding (from storm surge and rain). Harvey is an even starker example of that - stationary tropical storms can be extremely dangerous even if their winds are relatively tame.
Agreed, largely, although wind damage in the Keys and around Naples seems to have been severe. The Weather Channel (a) was very emphatic even before Harvey that its parking there for several days would cause big problems in the Houston area; and (b) has started giving additional sorts of warnings...They're not just talking about "a category-x hurricane," but giving "storm surge warnings" and "high wind warnings," and talking about "when hurricane-force winds (or hurricane-force gusts or tropical-storm-force winds) will reach a given area," because that can be a day before the eye of the storm, if the eye reaches that area at all. Some of these are official National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center "products" that they've developed in the last few years.

We're going through another round of this right now, actually, with José possibly coming close to New York and New England in about three days.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 09:09 PM   #14850
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N7 Groningen

The final plans for a changed design of the Julianaplein interchange in Groningen have been released.

Instead of a bridge-y design, it will become a tunnel-y design. A28 and N7 meet here, it is presently the busiest traffic light in the Netherlands with over 100,000 vehicles per day.

The image shows the old design (top) and new design (bottom).


Knooppunt Julianaplein by European Roads, on Flickr
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Old September 15th, 2017, 10:34 PM   #14851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
It's a matter of being used to certain scales / measurement systems. Hence, the U.S. won't switch from Fahrenheit or gallons to Celsius and liters. And that's why the Netherlands still uses the Beaufort scale, which is based on the observation of the effect of wind on a vessel.

Meters per second is basically never used in non-scientific meteorological context in the Netherlands, wheareas a Scandinavian may be comfortable with 10 m/s, that figure would not be understood by the Dutch because it is never used.

Km/h is a convenient alternative because they are relatable to the speed of driving, something everyone is familiar with.
I cannot understand what the issue is here. There are at least four different scales of windspeed in wide use. Why would some of those be absolutely better than the others? What comes to relation to driving speed, the relation is weak. 50 km/h is quite a heavy wind but very low speed on a motorway. The scales do not correlate.

The Beaufort scale was initially created for sailing purposes. Because nautical mile is the natural unit on the seas, the knot would be the most logical unit to replace Beauforts.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #14852
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Nothing is expressed in meters per second in everyday life. You walk 5 km/h. You cycle 20 km/h. You drive 50 to 130 km/h. Those are far more relatable terms for the average public than '15 m/s', much like knots or beaufort, which you can only get a sense of by getting used to it rather than comparison to everyday 'units'.

There is even a tendency to oversimplify weights and sizes to 'millions of kilograms' instead of tonnes, 'the size of x olympic swimming pools' instead of cubic meters or 'the size of x football fields' instead of square meters.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 09:33 AM   #14853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
I cannot understand what the issue is here. There are at least four different scales of windspeed in wide use. Why would some of those be absolutely better than the others? What comes to relation to driving speed, the relation is weak. 50 km/h is quite a heavy wind but very low speed on a motorway. The scales do not correlate.

The Beaufort scale was initially created for sailing purposes. Because nautical mile is the natural unit on the seas, the knot would be the most logical unit to replace Beauforts.
It's not a matter of a scale being better than another. It is a matter of consistency and ease of communication.

When you play with different scales in different countries, this may happen:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter
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Old September 16th, 2017, 12:05 PM   #14854
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Nothing is expressed in meters per second in everyday life.
Wind speeds are
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Old September 16th, 2017, 12:06 PM   #14855
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Nothing is expressed in meters per second in everyday life. You walk 5 km/h. You cycle 20 km/h. You drive 50 to 130 km/h. Those are far more relatable terms for the average public than '15 m/s', much like knots or beaufort, which you can only get a sense of by getting used to it rather than comparison to everyday 'units'.
I disagree. It is not like you follow the blowing air for kms and hours. The impact you see is usually on the scale of meters, and is rather instantaneous. Eg, seing the leaves blowing from "here to there". Hence, for wind, I think m/s is a very meaningful scale. Beaufort scale really does not do anything than assigning numbers to wind classifications that is more easier understood by the layman (fresh breeze=5, strong gale=9). I really do not see the point.

Last edited by 54°26′S 3°24′E; September 16th, 2017 at 12:53 PM.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 12:12 PM   #14856
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I wasn't arguing about the Beaufort scale being better (it is not) or more scientifically correct (it is not), but the fact that km/h is far more relatable for everyday usage among the general populace than other measurements which requires prior knowledge such as m/s, kts or bft.

100 km/h is instantly recognizable for everyone. 28 m/s or 10 beaufort is not *unless* you are familiar with the system.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #14857
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
It's not a matter of a scale being better than another. It is a matter of consistency and ease of communication.

When you play with different scales in different countries, this may happen:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter
Should have just stuck to customary measures. Got us to the Moon after all. ;-)
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Old September 16th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #14858
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I wasn't arguing about the Beaufort scale being better (it is not) or more scientifically correct (it is not), but the fact that km/h is far more relatable for everyday usage among the general populace than other measurements which requires prior knowledge such as m/s, kts or bft.

100 km/h is instantly recognizable for everyone. 28 m/s or 10 beaufort is not *unless* you are familiar with the system.
All of which has what to do with Knooppunt Julianaplein? ;-)

(Where I've actually driven, on my first day with a tiny rented Fiat. Went up to Groningen to check out De Zwerver, since I've ordered stuff from them, and it was an excuse to drive over the Afsluitdijk.)
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Old September 16th, 2017, 06:57 PM   #14859
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I'm surprised that Knooppunt Julianaplein hadn't been solved before, as a traffic light between two major motorways is likelt to create huge traffic jams.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 09:50 PM   #14860
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I drove there this afternoon and there was no jam at all. I even didn't have to stop...

Well, I think Saturday afternoon should not be used to set the benchmark
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