February 25, 2021

Wind Speed: Damage and Pervasiveness

2 min read
windproofing and wind damage

If you’re trying to keep your home safe, there are a few things you’re going to need to do. Animal-proofing and general weatherproofing are two important elements of home safety, but windproofing specifically is something that many people don’t do enough of. Here’s what you need to know about windproofing and wind damage for your home.

The Windiest Cities Across the United States

To understand wind trends more thoroughly, the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information has been cataloging wind speed data since 1984. According to the NCEI, here are the 20 windiest cities in the United States.

  1. Mount Washington, NH: 35.7
  2. Dodge City, KS: 13.1
  3. Amarillo, TX: 12.9
  4. Cheyenne, WY: 12.3
  5. Goodland, KS: 12.1
  6. Rochester, MN: 12.1
  7. Clayton, NM: 12.1
  8. Lubbock, TX: 12.0
  9. Casper, WY: 12.0
  10. Corpus Christie, TX: 11.7
  11. Wichita, KS: 11.5
  12. Boston, MA: 11.5
  13. Great Falls, MT: 11.4
  14. New York, NY: 11.3
  15. Oklahoma City, OK: 11.3
  16. Wichita Falls, TX: 11.2
  17. Grand Island, NE: 11.2
  18. Fargo, ND: 11.1
  19. Galveston, TX: 11.1
  20. Concordia, KS: 11.0

Notably, Mount Washington is the windiest city on this list. As a matter of fact, the city receives winds above hurricane levels for over 100 days per year. That’s why it’s mostly populated by a scientific observatory rather than people who live there.

Why Do Some Windy Cities Not Make the List?

If you live in an especially windy city, including the self-proclaimed Windy City of Chicago, you might wonder why your city wasn’t on the list of windiest cities. The simplest answer is that it has to do with how the NCEI collects wind information versus how you experience wind.

In many cities, including Chicago, the official wind speed isn’t actually the speed at which you experience the wind. Chicago has many high skyscrapers, which form “wind tunnels” through the city streets. This can dramatically increase the wind speed on the ground, especially in certain areas of the city.

Avoiding Wind Damage in Your Home

What about when it comes to avoiding wind damage? This process gets much less attention than it likely should. If you’re a homeowner in a windy area, you need to make sure you’re avoiding wind damage. Even a fairly small amount of wind can cause problems by turning your garage or home into a wind tunnel, potentially blowing off the roof.

There are many ways to avoid these wind problems, including things like a roof wind brace. However, not all fixes are right for all homes and all areas. Talking to an expert can help you understand what you need to windproof your home.

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