How fast does the wind have to blow to create white caps on the water?

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by Jeff Renner

Bio | Email | Follow: @Jeffrennerwx

KING5.com

Posted on November 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM

How fast does the wind have to blow to create white caps on the water?

Flat water changes into waves as air blows across its' surface; friction between the air and the water below leads to the change in shape and motion. The tops of waves will begin to scatter once winds reach between 13 to 18 mph, leading to white caps. A few white caps are possible at wind speeds of 8 to 12 mph, but they're uncommon.

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