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D. L. Moody

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Francis Beaufort

Francis Beaufort was born in 1774, in County Meath, Ireland. He was the son of the Reverend Daniel Augustus Beaufort, the rector of Navan. His father was well respected in the fields of geography and topography. He published one of the earliest detailed maps of Ireland.

When Francis was 13, he began his nautical career as a cabin boy in the British Navy. While at sea for a couple of years, he recognized the value of being weather wise. Beaufort began keeping a meteorological journal on general weather scene. When he was 22, Beaufort rose to the rank of a lieutenant. He got to serve aboard H.M.S. Phaeton. He was in the service until 1812.

At the age of 55, Beaufort was appointed hydrographer to the Royal Navy. While in office, he commissioned voyages to survey and chart areas of the world. Beaufort became very interested in weather while in the service. He Created the "Beaufort Scale" in 1806. Francis Beaufort used his scale from 1806 until his death in 1857. The royal navy adopted this scale in 1838.

The "Beaufort Scale" was an objective scale ranging from "calm" (0) up to "storm" (13). Each value on the scale represents a specific range and classification of wind speeds with descriptions of the effects on surface features. It was originally created as a system for estimating wind speed without using instruments. Later the scale was modified to include descriptions of effects on land features as well. The Beaufort scale is still used today for the same purpose but also to tie various components of weather into a unified picture.



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