When thinking about the windiest cities in the US, people immediately go to Chicago. But despite The Windy City nickname Chicago proudly wears, many other cities could rightfully snatch that title.
We usually consider 7 or 8 mph to be a normal wind speed. But many cities in the Midwest and on the coast experience wind speed greater than ten mph. So, here are the ten windiest cities in the US.
1. Dodge City, Kansas
You probably know and think of Kansas as the flattest state. And although this is not actually true (sadly, it’s only the seventh flattest), such a lack of big natural obstacles leaves the wind to roam this region freely all the way from the Rocky Mountains. And Dodge City has the misfortune of sitting right at the center of it. Of course, it doesn’t help that its area is also a part of Tornado Alley.
Therefore, Dodge City is considered the windiest city in America, with the average wind speed reaching an incredible 15 mph. During the not-so-windy season, which is in November, Dodge City experiences 44 mph winds. Still, this is nothing compared to April — the windy month — with the gusts speed reaching 63 mph.
Fun fact: National Centers for Environmental Information Climatic Wind Data Publication (for the period between 1930 and 1996) states that Dodge City had faced gusts of great force in the past, even up to 79 mph.
2. Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo has a situation similar to Dodge City. Being situated in the Texas Panhandle, it experiences a constant low pressure. According to the National Weather Service, this causes strong and persistent winds from the west and southwest.
The average wind speeds in Amarillo go up to 13.6 mph, which places it among the windiest cities in the US. Furthermore, the most blustery months of the year are March and April. But the highest wind speed ever recorded in Amarillo was on May 15th, 1949, with a gust speed of 84 mph.
3. Lubbock, Texas
Next on our list is Lubbock, a city that has turned its windy condition into something useful. Lubbock is located just south of the said Texas Panhandle. It has landed third place among the windiest cities in the US thanks to its location on the Llano Estacado, an area on the Western High Plains.
This city faces constant wind, the average speed being 12.4 mph. Therefore, it opened up its own wind farm and became a home to the American Wind Power Center (or the American Windmill Museum, as you may know it). That way, Lubbock provides energy for almost 27,000 homes each year.
The windiest month is usually April, and the fastest wind ever recorded was on May 9th, 1952 — 90 mph.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is located onshore of the Atlantic Ocean, which means it is prone to northeasters during winter. Moreover, each year, the city gets hit by a hurricane or tropical cyclone between June and November.
Although it varies greatly by the season, the average wind speed in Boston is around 12.3 mph, and the windiest months are February and March.
Still, if you need any more proof that the gusts in Boston are indeed powerful, just remember that, back in 2016, they overturned an eight-foot-tall statue of Benjamin Franklin. The statue was a century old and not at all lightweight.
And if you were wondering about the fastest wind in Boston’s history, it happened on October 17th, 2019. A bomb cyclone caused the staggering 90 mph speed wind.
5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
In Oklahoma City, the windy season is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it helps cool down the usually hot temperatures, unlike Boston and northern cities where winds only bring even colder weather.
The winds normally come from south or south-southeast (namely Texas), and they intensify from February to May. On average, the wind speed reaches 12.2 mph, with March being the windiest month of the year.
Furthermore, April to June is the windy season’s peak — a tornado season. The strongest gusts to blow in Oklahoma City happened on April 16th, 1990, and they had a speed of 92 mph.
6. Rochester, Minnesota
As we previously discussed, the flatness of the landscape really does affect the wind speed in an area. And Minnesota, the fifth flattest state in the US, can testify to that.
The city of Rochester is located in southeast Minnesota. So, thanks to the general flatness of the area, it has the highest average wind speed, around 12.1 mph, compared to other cities in this state.
In April, warm temperatures from the south and cold temperatures from the north clash, making this month the most blustery. The strongest wind ever recorded in Rochester was on July 20th, 2019. It blew at the speed of 74 mph.
7. Corpus Christi, Texas
Corpus Christi is a beautiful city that faces 80-plus-degree temperatures from April to October. For this reason, local residents welcome the persistent breeze.
The average wind speed goes up to 12 mph, with April being the windiest. However, the fastest wind ever recorded in Corpus Christi blew at the frightening speed of 161 mph on August 3rd, 1970, during Hurricane Celia.
8. Buffalo, New York
Of course, we can’t talk about the windiest cities in the US without mentioning Buffalo. Buffalo can ascribe its windy state to Lake Eerie. The National Weather Service calls such wind a “lake breeze” and says it happens when the land is warmer than the water.
9. Wichita, Kansas
The winds mentioned earlier that rush down from the Rocky Mountains do not affect Wichita like they do Dodge City, thanks to Wichita’s location 150 miles to the east. So, this city has to put up with a wind speed of “only” 11.5 mph on average.
Still, the fastest wind ever was during a derecho storm on July 11th, 1993, at the Eisenhower Airport.
10. Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo can also attribute its windy state to its location. The city lies in the Red River Valley, a very windy zone. For this reason, Fargo has to endure blizzards and other winter storms.