Beaufort Scale and Weather Forecasts

Why has New Zealand dropped the use of the Beaufort scale numbers in marine weather forecasts. Most of us will remember learning and recognise this scale which links wind speed to sea state and which also gives the limits when gale and storm warnings are issued.

New Zealand MetService forecasts wind in 5 knot bands.  A “force 7″  is forecast as “winds  25 to 30, gusting to 35 knots with rough seas”.  It would also require a gale warning the wind speed is over 34 knots.  Many more words to listen to, comprehend  or copy down.

Another new term frequently used is a “wind advisory”.  I do not know what this means or what the limits are.  

All this is probably connected to global warming or la nina.

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