200 100 67 50 40 33 29 25 22 20
9 mph 10 mph
20 11 mph
18 12 mph
17 13 mph
16 14 mph
14.5 15 mph
13.7 16 mph
13.0 17 mph
12.0 18 mph
I have a Kestrel 2000 thai I use primarily to check my wind estimates yielded from old-fashioned estimation techniques. (A "de-liar" I call it.) What's wonderful is that this instrument gives you an honest yardstick for gauging all the contributing winds, too. Carefully measuring the wind around me on my Kestrel and watching the local effects, I then look for similar effects downrange to help gauge those winds.
Even if you have gauges available, however, you still must learn other wind estimation methods in order to read distant winds. Our four-panel illustration on page 352 shows ways in which the effects of wind can be read to indicate wind speed. A 3-5 mph wind is felt lightly on your face; a 5-8 mph wind causes leaves in trees to agitate continuously; an 8-12 mph wind will raise dust and blow around loose paper; and a 12-15 mph wind causes small trees and bushes to sway.
The key is to look for the most extreme wind effect when using this method. Start by checking whether any small trees are swaying and then work downward.
While observing these distant wind indicators, be sure to note exactly the direction of wind. I have seen sniper students carefully and correctly discern a distant wind, only to mistakenly call it oblique when it actually was a full crosswind.
The pointing method, also shown on page 352, requires that you drop a handkerchief or balled-up piece of paper from the height of your shoulder. To determine wind speed, point to where it landed and estimate the angle between your arm and bod}:. Then divide this angle by four to learn the wind speed. In our illustration, the angle is 60 degrees; dividing by four yields 15, which means the wind speed is 15 mph.
You also can estimate wind by noticing how it lifts a flag—as taught in several military manuals. But this technique is inconsistent because modern flags often are made of ultralight materials, needing minimal breeze to stay astir.
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