Windiest Cities in the United States
The windiest city in the United States is not the one nicknamed the "Windy City". Among large cities, Chicago ranks twelfth for fastest average wind speed.
America's windiest major city is Boston, where overall the wind blows two miles per hour faster than in Chicago. Boston and Chicago are two of thirteen large US cities with year-round winds averaging above 10 mph.
The major cities included in the weather rankings here represent the metropolitan areas in the United States with the most people, all those with over one million residents in 2010, according to the US Census Bureau.
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||12.2||19.6|
|Buffalo, New York||11.8||19.0|
|Kansas City, Missouri||10.6||17.1|
|San Francisco, California||10.6||17.1|
|Virginia Beach, Virginia||10.5||16.9|
|Providence, Rhode Island||10.4||16.7|
Strongest Wind Gusts
Boston's wind is twice as fast as that of the least windy city, Phoenix. Still, Phoenix is not without its powerful winds. Average wind speeds say nothing about what winds are capable of. The Arizona city's airports have been blasted by 100 mph gusts more than once.
Hurricanes, thunderstorms and windstorms blowing off the ocean have produced some amazing gusts at many cities. Sometimes the wind knocks out the weather station's power supply or the measuring equipment, so we'll never know the true strength of some fierce gusts, just the damage.
|New York, New York||125||201||Sep 16, 2010||Thunderstorm in Queens|
|Miami, Florida||115||185||Aug 24, 1992||Hurricane Andrew|
|Phoenix, Arizona||115||185||Aug 14, 1996||Thunderstorm|
|Jacksonville, Florida||108||174||May 27, 1997||Thunderstorm|
|Orlando, Florida||105||169||Aug 14, 2004||Hurricane Charley|
|Portland, Oregon||104||167||Oct 12, 1962||Columbus Day Windstorm|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||100||161||Aug 11, 1992||Thunderstorm|
|Nashville, Tennessee||99||159||May 5, 1999||Thunderstorm|
|Louisville, Kentucky||92||148||July 8, 2001||Thunderstorm|
|Miami, Florida||92||148||Oct 25, 2005||Hurricane Wilma|
Windiest City Each Month
On a monthly basis, the windiest city in America, based on average speed, shifts among four locations. Boston excels during the fall and winter, but is briefly outdone by Buffalo in January. Oklahoma City gets the strongest spring winds, while San Francisco is the best place to fly a kite throughout the summer months.
NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Comparative Climatic Data Publication.
NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Storm Events.