Most homeowners know how to protect their homes against common oversights. Smoke alarms, mousetraps, and plenty of other countermeasures are great for preventing small accidents from damaging your home.
Unfortunately, no one can predict when a natural disaster will strike. There isn’t really any method to prevent them or stop them from damaging your property. Wind damage can be especially unforgiving. You don’t even have to wait for a hurricane or tornado to form, either. Windstorms of all kinds may suddenly form without any prior precipitation or trends. These powerful winds can blow the shingles from your roof, tear away your rooftop altogether, or even knock down giant trees onto your house.
Being familiar with wind trends and patterns can help with this. It’s also a good idea to consult a foundation expert on this matter to see how they can help protect your home against wind damage. This guide will cover where the windiest cities in the U.S. are, how to track wind trends, and the kind of property damage high winds can wreak on your home.
The Windiest Cities in the U.S.
The average wind speeds at Mount Washington in New Hampshire measure around 36 miles per hour. These are near-gale conditions, which are winds that forecasters consider strong enough to issue a warning or wind advisory.
None of the other windiest cities in the U.S. have wind speeds nearly this high. On average, these cities tend to have wind speeds of around 11 to 13 miles per hour. This is a far cry from warranting a wind warning of their own.
However, it is not wise to underestimate the power of these wind speeds! Oftentimes, these speeds may actually increase due to a phenomenon known as wind tunnels. All that air is squeezed between the skyscrapers, which creates much stronger wind gusts that blow all throughout the city streets.
What are the Wind Trends in the U.S.?
A quick glance at an aggregate wind map can show you where all the current wind hotspots of the U.S. are located. You can also note down which areas are at very low wind-risk as well.
However, keep in mind that wind is one of the more variable weather conditions. This means that they are likely to change up at any time throughout the day. A low-risk area may be viable to sudden high wind speeds, and vice versa. You will get different wind speeds based on a variety of factors, including initial weather patterns, elevation, and current location.
The Highest Recorded Wind Speeds
One of the highest wind speeds ever recorded was in 1934 at Mount Washington. Scientists measured a shocking wind speed of 231 miles per hour. To compare the sheer scale of it, this is 74 miles faster than a Category 5 hurricane! Though higher wind speeds tend to correlate with higher elevation, Mount Washington is considered a smaller peak. This makes this measured wind speed all the more unusual for the time. This held the world record for at least 62 years before a wind speed of 253 miles per hour was recorded during a tropical cyclone in Australia.
Types of Property Damage High Winds Can Create
High winds can cause just as much, if not more, damage to a home than heavy flooding or storm surges. The first thing these windstorms will do is find a compromised point somewhere around your home. This can be an open door or window, crack in the wall, or some other opening it can find. This opening then creates a wind tunnel that only increases in speed due to all the tight spaces in your house. The pressure can grow powerful enough to rip your roof from your home from within. You might also find that other essential parts of your home like your gutters or downspouts blown away in this harsh storm.
These high winds can also send flying debris to crash through your windows, large tree branches to collapse onto your roof, or large trees on your lawn to fall over, roots and all. This can be especially dangerous if the roots have entangled themselves around your foundation; if this tree then falls, your foundation might be ripped away along with it. Getting your foundation inspected by a foundation expert every year can help prevent this tremendous damage. By scheduling these yearly appointments, you can protect your foundation from any incurring damage and improve the overall health of your home.