Coming down off Jacobson hill last night around 5:30, I figured the wind was blowing around 40 mph by the way the waves were reacting to the wind. It's Scupper here to review how waves can tell you how hard its blowing on our neck of Puget Sound.
Flat mirror like water translates to winds at…zero
Waves just starting to crest with a cap translates to winds at…about 10mph
Sporadic white caps across the water translates to winds at…about 15mph
White caps just about everywhere translates to…about 20-25mph
Large waves with some spray blowing off the white caps translates to…25-30mph
Consistent streaks of spray & foam blown off the waves…30-40mph (what I saw coming down off the hill!)
Beyond what's described above results in denser foam/spray off the waves and indicates gale force to what the Beaufort Scales would consider "storm" conditions.