Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort

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Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was born in Navan, Co. Meath in 1774. He left school when he was only thirteen years old to start his life at sea. He eventually became a commander in the British Navy and is famous for inventing the Wind Force Scale.

Beaufort always kept a journal of short notes on the weather at sea. In 1805 he was asked to do a survey of the waters around an area of South America. It was during this voyage that he developed the first Wind Force Scale.

The Beaufort Wind Force Scale is a way to measure and describe the wind speed at sea. His scale had thirteen points e.g. calm = (0); storm = (13). In 1838 the British Navy made Beaufort’s Wind Force Scale the standard way to measure wind at sea.

His Wind Force Scale was altered when steam ships became more popular than sailing ships. However, when there are very severe weather conditions, the weathermen today still used the Beaufort Wind Force Scale to measure the wind.

World map
In 1829, Beaufort became the head of the Hydrographic Office of the British Admiralty and planned many voyages to charter, or map, areas all around the world. e.g. Robert Fitzroy and Charles Darwin on the ship Beagle.
Many places on the world’s oceans have been named after him e.g. Beaufort Sea (part of Arctic Oceans), Beaufort Island (Antarctic) and Beaufort Inlet ( North Atlantic Ocean ). He died in 1857.