Wind can be a huge problem when you’re trying to keep your home safe. Considering the issues that can arise with wind and home safety, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit more about wind and its potential impact on your home. Here’s what you need to know about the windiest cities in the United States.
- Top 20 Cities With the Highest Average Wind Speed
First and foremost, what does the science say when it comes to finding the wind speed in different cities? According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, these are the 20 cities in the United States with the highest average wind speed in miles per hour.
- Mt. Washington, NH: 35.7 MPH
- Dodge City, KS: 13.1 MPH
- Amarillo, TX: 12.9 MPH
- Cheyenne, WY: 12.3 MPH
- Goodland, KS: 12.1 MPH
- Rochester, MN: 12.1 MPH
- Clayton, NM: 12.1 MPH
- Lubbock, TX: 12.0 MPH
- Casper, WY: 12.0 MPH
- Corpus Christie, TX: 11.7 MPH
- Wichita, KS: 11.5 MPH
- Boston, MA: 11.5 MPH
- Great Falls, MT: 11.4 MPH
- New York, NY: 11.3 MPH
- Oklahoma City, OK: 11.3 MPH
- Wichita Falls, TX: 11.2 MPH
- Grand Island, NE: 11.2 MPH
- Fargo, ND: 11.1 MPH
- Galveston, TX: 11.1 MPH
- Concordia, KS: 11.0 MPH
Especially if you already know about windiness in some cities, it might surprise you to know that Chicago, the “Windy City,” isn’t even on this list. It has an average wind speed of 9.9 MPH, but the city streets can create wind tunnels, causing extremely strong wind gusts that go much more quickly than that.
It’s also impressive to note that Mount Washington in New Hampshire has an average wind speed more than twice that of the second-place spot. It’s notorious for its erratic weather, and the Mount Washington Observatory on the summit uses the slogan “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.”
- Trends in United States Wind Speed
Though there are some exceptions, looking at a map that showcases average wind speed will show some trends in wind speed averages. Specifically, the Northeast United States tends to have much faster winds than the rest. The Southwest and some areas of the South have the lowest average wind speeds. There are also isolated pockets in the Midwest that have high average wind speeds.
- The Wildest Wind Event in the United States
In 1934, Mount Washington recorded 231 MPH winds at the summit of the mountain. Those winds are technically 74 MPH faster than a Category 5 hurricane may be. These speeds could easily pick up an adult human and carry them away. This was the highest directly-measured surface wind speed until 1996, when a wind measurement of 253 MPH was made by an unmanned device in Australia.
The reason the wind speeds at Mount Washington were so crazy is because of a high-pressure gradient. There was a strong high-pressure air mass on one side of the mountain and a strong low-pressure mass on the other. The air rushes quickly from the high-pressure side to the low-pressure side, causing these extremely rapid winds.
- Wind and Property Damage
According to an analysis of Travelers Insurance policies, around a quarter of homeowner insurance claims happen due to wind damage. With an average claim settlement of $10,182, it’s easy to see that wind can be hugely damaging to a home.
There are many areas where a home can take damage due to wind. It might compromise a weak spot like a window, door, or garage, creating an opening that funnels wind inside and increases the wind velocity inside the house. This makeshift wind tunnel can create an uplift effect that can completely tear the roof off.
High winds can also cause damage if there are trees or any other debris surrounding your home. It can pick up those pieces of debris and fling them through windows and walls, causing extreme amounts of damage. That’s one of the reasons it’s crucial to keep the area around your home clean.
There are plenty of windy areas in the United States, but even if you live in an area that’s not very windy on average, storms can cause lots of wind for a short period of time. It’s a good idea to put safeguards into place to ensure that your home isn’t damaged even by short bursts of wind.