When you think of the windiest places in America, which city comes to mind? If you're like most people, you probably think of Chicago. There is some mixed opinion as to how it obtained its nickname (some suggest the term refers to lawmakers being "full of hot air"), but anyone who lives there can attest to how gusty conditions can get now and then. In 2010, for example, whipping winds were forceful enough to rip windows off of Willis Tower, as NBC News reported at the time. And in 1988, back when the Willis Tower was the Sears Tower, 56-mile-per-hour winds blew out 90 windows, according to the Chicago Tribune. Many of the shattered windows were in the upper reaches of the building, which is over 100 floors high.
Blustery though the Midwest metro may be, it's not the windiest city in America. We'll count down the ones that are, based on data compiled by Treehugger.com. If you own a business in any of these locations, you may want to consider reinforcing your windows so they're more resistant to the weather's wrath in the summer, fall, spring and winter. As you'll see from the cities cited, one state gets more than its fair share of wild winds (see the image above for a hint!).
6. Corpus Christi, Texas
Located off the banks of the Gulf of Mexico and approximately 130 miles to the southeast of San Antonio, Corpus Christi is one of the windiest cities in the U.S. Based on figures obtained by Treehugger, the average windspeeds in Corpus Christi are approximately 12 mph, making it the sixth windiest city in the U.S. April tends to be its windiest month.
However, the strongest gusts ever recorded occurred in the heart of hurricane season. Back in August 1970 during Hurricane Celia, winds reached 161 mph. That's the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.
5. Rochester, Minnesota
Roughly a five-hour drive to the southwest of Chicago is Rochester, Minnesota. Not only do winds tend to whip far faster in this part of the U.S. than the so-called Windy City — averaging 12.1 mph — it's also one of the flattest areas in the country. Its topography further contributes to the spread and strength of the winds that blow in from the south and north.
In 2019, Rochester received it's strongest winds on record, clocking in at 74 mph, according to the National Weather Service. This speed is similar to a less intense Category 1 hurricane, but it's nonetheless notable, considering a hurricane has never officially struck Minnesota.
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
To paraphrase a line from the musical "Oklahoma," the winds in the Sooner State do come sweeping down the plain rather briskly from time to time, especially in its state capital. On average, the wind speeds in Oklahoma City average 12.2 mp hand tend to ramp up during the month of March, according to Treehugger.
Oklahoma has seen its fair share of tornadoes over the years. In 2013, for example, a twister that struck El Reno featured wind speeds that were nearly 300 mph, The Washington Post reported. El Reno is roughly 29 miles west of Oklahoma City.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
Situated along the Atlantic, Boston residents and business owners must always be mindful of hurricane season given where the city is located. It's avoided major events in recent years, but that doesn't mean the Bay State always sees calm breezes. Wind speeds average 12.3 mph in the Massachusetts capital. In Cape Cod, a popular coastal area just south of Boston, a bomb cyclone in 2019 produced wind gusts that were 90 mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
2. Lubbock, Texas
The birthplace to rock 'n' roll legend Buddy Holly, Lubbock, Texas can shake rattle and roll from time to time because of its geographic positioning, which is due south of the Texas Panhandle. As such, it's one of the fastest-growing regions for wind power energy production with wind speeds averaging 12.4 mph. The peak gust here occurred in 1952, reaching a speed of 90 mph, according to the NWS.
1. Amarillo, Texas
Although the highest average wind speeds aren't as high here as in other cities, Amarillo is still considered the windiest city in America, mainly because of how regularly and consistently the gusts blow in from the Texas Panhandle. As reported by the NWS, the strongest wind gust happened in 1949, but in terms of the average wind speeds on a day-to-day basis, they reach 13.6 mph. The Weather Channel has also listed Amarillo as the windiest city in the U.S. over the years and the city is located inside of "Tornado Alley,'' where some of the strongest twisters on record have occurred.
Texas is clearly one of the windiest places in the country and your business can feel the effects. If your business has encountered wind damage and you believe it's covered by your insurance policy, Stone Claims Group can help you with the documentation process. Contact us today to learn more and find out about the building types and the states that we serve.
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