The Beaufort wind scale is a standard scale, running from force 0 for calm to force 12 hurricane and above for the description of wind speed. Each value represents a specific range and classification of wind speeds with accompanying descriptions of the effects on surface features. It was originally developed as a system for estimating wind strengths without the use of instruments.
It was introduced in 1806 by Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857) of the British navy to describe wind effects on a fully rigged man-of-war frigate of the period, and it was later modified to include descriptions of effects on land features as well. It is currently still in use for this same purpose as well as to tie together various components of weather (wind strength, sea state, observable effects) into a unified picture.