What Wind Speed Is Too Windy For The Beach?

wind speed too windy for the beach explained

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Have you ever noticed how it always feels windier at the water’s edge than anywhere else?

If you want to avoid sand in the face and an unpleasant afternoon, you’ve probably wondered what wind speed is too windy for the beach.

Why Is It Always Windy At The Beach?

Even on a very still day, you’ll probably notice a slight breeze as you head down onto the beach.

But this isn’t just by chance, it’s all to do with the environment on the beach as well as a link between air pressure and the sun. 

Windy beach palm trees
Windy beach

When the sun comes up in the morning, it starts to warm the surface of the earth.

Items that are solid such as sand and rocks, which are often found on the beach, tend to warm up more rapidly than liquids, like the ocean.

Of course, at the beach, sand, rocks, and the ocean are all in very close proximity to one another so there’s something of an imbalance between them as they get heated up by the sun each morning.

For Example – Different levels of heat equals different levels of air pressure. The ocean, which is cooler has higher air pressure while the warm sand has lower pressure.

Because of this, air in the low pressure areas rises up and is then replaced with colder air that’s more dense; this comes from the areas of high pressure.

With all this air moving around, it creates a breeze that moves out from the sea and in towards the sand.

However, once evening comes around, the process is reversed because the ocean becomes warmer than the sand so the breeze heads back out. 

How Windy Is Too Windy At The Beach?

When you’re on a windy beach, it’s never fun.

Your hat blows off, your blanket blows away, there’s zero chance of a picnic and these are just the beginnings of your troubles. 

If things get too windy, the beach could even become dangerous.

beach wind
Spending time on windy beach

There’s the prospect of sand in the eyes, items blowing around and causing injuries, and you can forget taking part in certain activities that just become too risky when the wind picks up. 

So, how windy is too windy and when should you call it a day?

Is 15 mph Too Windy For The Beach?

Anything below 15 mph is usually bearable at the beach.

In fact, most people can easily put up with winds up to this speed.

However, once the wind picks up to 15 mph, you’ll notice that the sand starts blowing around but this is still only classed as a breeze. 

Is 20 mph Too Windy For The Beach?

If you’re on a beach with winds that exceed 20 miles per hour, it’s going to be a lot more noticeable.

Is 20 mph Too Windy For The Beach?
Stay on the beach 20 mph wind

However, according to weather experts, these gusts still don’t pose a threat to property or life.

So, if you want to stay on the beach and you’re comfortable doing so, it’s perfectly acceptable. 

That said, it’s recommended that boaters do not go out onto the water once the wind speed reaches 20 knots (that’s about 23 miles per hour.)

At This Point – The conditions are no longer considered safe on the water and if you’re using a smaller vessel, there’s a very significant risk of it capsizing. 

Is 35 mph Too Windy For The Beach?

A moderate wind is considered to be anything between 26 mph and 39 mph.

In these conditions, you might also expect there to be random gusts that could reach speeds of 57 miles per hour. 

Is 35 mph Too Windy For The Beach?
Beach wind speed

Normally, if you’re on a public, staffed beach, wind advisories will be issues when wind speeds reach 35 mph.

Even walking in winds of 30 mph can be difficult so it’s unlikely you’d want to continue your day at the beach. 

Is 40 mph Too Windy For The Beach?

Once the wind speed gets to 40 mph, there is a significant risk of damage to property such as small beachside structures, power lines, and trees.

Is 40 mph Too Windy For The Beach?
40 mph wind danger

These winds could also feature much faster and stronger gusts so it’s not a good idea to remain on the beach during these times. 

What Wind Speed Is Ideal For The Beach?

The average wind speed in the USA is typically between six and twelve miles per hour.

However, when you’re on the beach, you’ll likely want to consider the offshore wind speed as this is what will affect you most. 

Generally Speaking – Anything between five and ten miles an hour is ideal for spending time at the beach.

These speeds will ensure the waves remain consistent for sports like surfing without the risk of them becoming dangerous. 

average wind speed beach
Ideal wind for beach

Any time that the wind causes sand to start stirring should signal that it’s time to pack up and go home. Although this generally won’t happen until it gets to around 15 mph.

Final Thoughts

Nobody wants to get caught in a nasty gust of wind, especially when they’re trying to relax by the sea.

But the beach is naturally a windy place and at times, it can get too windy to stay there.

While you might be able to put up with wind speeds of up to 15 mph, the best wind speed for the beach is somewhere between 5 and 10 miles per hour.

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