# Is a 8mph wind strong enough to pick up a stapled bunch of papers?

If not, what speed does the wind or gust have to be? Also, the wind speed given on weather websites, is that the average wind speed? There’s a max wind speed and a max gust speed but the only other information just says “Wind Speed”

It isn’t that hard to trot along at 8 mph, which is about twice walking speed. Picture your papers on a tray as you carry them with you. Depending on how thin the papers are and what the tray or other surfaces look like, it could go either way, right?

I don’t think you can conveniently study this with a car, by the way, if the mood strikes you. Holding things out car windows puts them in a higher velocity stream of air running around the car. At least, that’s what I hear.

With stuff like wind, it’s mostly down to chance. I would say an 8mph wind could potentially pick up a sheaf of papers. It may not be likely, but it’s possible.

Anecdote time:

A few years ago, there was a windstorm all through Saturday night and into Sunday. When my family left for church on Sunday morning, our trampoline was sitting in our backyard. When we came back an hour later, it was lying in the middle of the street. A ripped-off piece of the pad that covers the springs was stuck in our chimney cap, showing that the trampoline had flown directly over our (one-story) house. Trampolines are fairly common in our neighborhood, and a quick drive around the block showed that none of the others had moved more than a few feet. Wind can do strange things.

According to the Beaufort scale a Level 4 “Moderate Breeze” of 13-17 MPH would have the effect of “Dust and loose paper raised”. That’s loose paper, not a stapled sheaf though. 8 MPH doesn’t seem to be enough.

Bonus Mitchell & Webb Beaufort sketch

how many sheets are in a sheaf?