Weather for Fantasy Fiction

Weather is a great tool to use for writing. You can add subtle symbolism to sway the senses, making scenes dramatic. Humanity versus nature is a never-ending struggle, and a great story to exploit.

When fantasy world building, consider planetary atmospheres. It affects seasons, tides and climate, as will the earth size, tilt, orbit and moons.

An approximate temperature for Earth’s coldest point is -70° C (-90° F). This is at the poles during their winter.

The highest temperature is roughly 50° C (120° F).This is at the equator during summer. You can make your world more extreme than this.

The sun will always be there during the day. The only things stopping nice days are suspensions, precipitations and wind.
Suspensions give readers a feeling of mystery. The reason for this is, as the air isn’t clear, people sense that achieving the stories goal won’t be clear either.

·         Fog
·         Mist
·         Cloud

Precipitations do two things to readers. They can find them romantic, like during passionate scenes of kissing in the rain. They can also find them threatening, like being stuck on snowy mountains. This adds tension, when characters aims seem impossible.

·         Rain
·         Hail
·         Snow

Wind Speed Scales
There are many wind speed scales in use across different regions of the world. I have tried incorporating them all, to give a good scope of how destructive winds can be in your fantasy world.

Wind at the equator will go west, whereas at the poles it will travel east. This means that any mountain ranges act as rain barriers. Towns with no protection from the elements have more volatile weather than those behind the barriers.

Wind speed depends on the size of your planets. Small planets will have reduced wind ferocity, while larger planets will see big storms. In addition, if your world has a greater water frequency than earth, then there will be more storms.

Winds can last a few seconds to a month. They can also travel a maximum of 10,000 km before fading. Even the fastest winds will slow over time. This is because they aren’t constantly going in one direction. Faster winds will normally whirl in circular motions, with one direction dominating.

The below scale uses a variation of the Beaufort Scale, which measures wind speed, the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which is for hurricanes and the Fujita Scale which is for tornados. I left one personal error in there. I could not confirm where I got one of the hurricanes speed. Sorry. Everything else is factual. I think these little mistakes can help writers think of new ideas.

1.    0-1 km/h – Air – Beaufort 0
2.    2-5 km/h – Air – Beaufort 1
3.    6-11 km/h – Breeze – Beaufort 2
4.    12-19 km/h – Breeze – Beaufort 3
5.    20-28 km/h – Breeze – Beaufort 4
6.    29-38 km/h – Breeze – Beaufort 5
7.    39-49 km/h – Gale – Beaufort 6
8.    50-61 km/h – Gale – Beaufort 7
9.    62-74 km/h – Gale – Beaufort 8
10. 75-88 km/h – Gale – Beaufort 9
11. 89-102 km/h – Storm – Beaufort 10
12. 103-117 km/h – Storm – Beaufort 11
13. 118-129 km/h – Hurricane – Saffir-Simpson 1
14. 130-153 km/h – Hurricane – Jim M Error No. 97685
15. 154-177 km/h – Hurricane – Saffir-Simpson 2
16. 178-208 km/h – Hurricane – Saffir-Simpson 3
17. 209-253 km/h – Hurricane – Saffir-Simpson 4
18. 254-332 km/h – Tornado – Fujita 3
19. 333-418 km/h – Tornado – Fujita 4

20. 419-512 km/h – Tornado – Fujita 5

Happy Creations!

More Information: Astronomy, Geography, ClimateBiologyMagic

Jim M