Help for
Sailors and

Weather Mnemonics

Meteorology is full of strange terms and they are not always easy to remember. So on this page, I have collected or created mnemonics for as many terms as possible.

Many terms don't seem to have any apparent logic so it was often difficult to find a link to remember them. Some are more useful than others but I have left in my least favourite ones in case they strike a chord with someone. Mnemonics are not about logic or simplicity but about whether it sticks in your mind.

The Beaufort Scale

Force Description Mnemonics
0 Calm  
1 Light Air  
2 Light Breeze  
3 Gentle Breeze  
4 Moderate Breeze The 'M' of 'moderate' is made up of 4 strokes and also resembles a figure 4
5 Fresh Breeze  
6 Strong Breeze The 'S' of 'strong' and 'b' of 'breeze' resemble a 6
7 Near Gale  
8 Gale A lower case G in some typefaces resembles the figure 8
9 Strong Gale  
10 Storm The 'to' of the word 'storm' resembles the number 10
11 Violent Storm  
12 Hurricane  

Seeing letters and numbers'Seeing' the numbers in the descriptions.


Advection Fog = Sea Fog ("advection" has 3 syllables, "sea" has 3 letters)
Radiation Fog = Land Fog ("radiation" has 4 syllables, "land" has 4 letters)

Sea fog is most common in the Spring and Summer, LAnd fog is most common in the faLL or Autumn.

Cold and Warm Fronts

Warm and cold frontsIt is easy to remember the shapes and colours of warm and cold fronts. The warm front has a shape like a sun (or at least half of one) and it is a warm, red colour. The cold front has a shape like an icicle and has a cold, blue colour.

Backing and Veering

Backing and veering windsIf you need to put a clock back, such as when Summer Time finishes, you wind the arms anticlockwise. 'Backing' means to change anticlockwise, 'veering' must then mean changing clockwise.


Flat Clouds = Flat Wind; Lumpy Clouds = Lumpy Winds meaning that at the warm front, the clouds are flat (stratus) and the winds are steady; at the cold front, the clouds are cumulus and the winds squally.