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Windiest states in America

  • Windiest states in America

    When the average person checks out a weather report, they're likely more concerned with the chance of rain or high and low temperatures than they are with wind gusts or average wind speeds. Yet wind takes center stage in extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes and dictates conditions for everyone from sailors and surfers to pilots.

    David Bernhardt, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Montana, told the Great Falls Tribune that the wind doesn’t get the respect it deserves and that it “affects everything.” The reason? Wind can have a greater impact on people compared with any other aspect of weather.

    The wind is not distributed equally among all the 50 states. To determine which states are the windiest ones in America, Stacker consulted the Global Wind Atlas 3.0, a free, web-based application developed, owned, and operated by the Technical University of Denmark. The Global Wind Atlas 3.0 is released in partnership with the World Bank Group, using data provided by Vortex and funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. This database, most recently updated in October 2019, incorporates 10 years’ worth of data covering wind speeds and power around the world.

    Stacker ranked all 50 states according to their mean wind speeds at 328 feet (100 meters) above sea level for the 10% windiest areas of each state; ties were broken by the state’s mean wind power density. While the mean wind speed figures are reported here in miles per hour, the wind power density figures are reported in watts per meter squared (W/m^2) because that is the conventional measuring unit and refers to the quantity of electric power that may be generated by wind.

    So, hold on to your hats and sunglasses as you learn about how some states withstand strong gusts of wind for several months on end every year and how some are trying to harvest this renewable source of energy.

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  • #50. Florida

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 14.1 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 245 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.3 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 101 W/m^2

    In spite of being the state most vulnerable to hurricanes, Florida's average wind speeds comes in dead last among U.S. states. Florida's close proximity to water puts it in the path of low and high-pressure systems that weaken wind flow, according to meteorologist Robert Molleda of the National Weather Service in Miami.

  • #49. Arizona

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 14.5 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 355 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 8.7 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 182 W/m^2

    On the afternoon of April 10, 2019, strong gusts of wind swept across the Phoenix area. The National Weather Service sent out a “Red Flag Warning” for “high to very high fire danger” and warned people against target shooting, starting campfires, lighting firecrackers, or even driving over dry grass.

  • #48. Georgia

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 14.5 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 293 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 8.5 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 93 W/m^2

    While most of Georgia’s topography is not ideal for wind energy, the mountainous regions in the north are known to produce stronger winds that can power turbines. The first wind turbine in a public school was installed in 2010 at Hiawassee, Georgia, in a Towns County school. But Georgia was listed as one of the five least windy states in the country by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • #47. South Carolina

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 14.9 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 301 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.1 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 105 W/m^2

    There are no wind farms in South Carolina but the state is still home to 35 companies and at least 40 facilities that are a part of the wind energy industry. A majority of the electricity generated in South Carolina comes from nuclear power, coal, and natural gas, according to The New York Times.

  • #46. Mississippi

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.4 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 325 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.0 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 94 W/m^2

    Much to everyone’s surprise, in 2015, Jackson, Mississippi, was named the windiest city in America by CoreLogic, a data-enabled services provider. But, while this news made headlines, it also was reported that the findings were different from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which said Dodge City, Kansas, was the windiest city.

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  • #45. Alabama

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.5 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 341 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.1 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 105 W/m^2

    A combination of heavy rains and high winds on April 18, 2019, resulted in toppled trees and damaged power lines, according to AL.com. The storms claimed one woman’s life.

  • #44. Louisiana

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.6 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 341 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 10.9 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 157 W/m^2

    Tropical storm Olga caused gusts of wind as strong as 70 mph across southeast Louisiana before heading to southern Mississippi on Oct. 26, 2019. Olga also traveled to New Orleans and caused power outages at several houses and businesses, including Louis Armstrong International Airport, according to NOLA.com.

  • #43. Utah

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.6 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 431 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.7 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 246 W/m^2

    Utah’s most devastating wind event took place in 2011 in Davis County and uprooted countless trees and power lines. Highways and schools were closed. To make matters worse, the high winds struck in early December, leaving people shivering in the dark and causing $75 million in infrastructure damage. Deseret News reported that it was Utah’s worst windstorm.

  • #42. Nevada

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.6 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 445 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 9.8 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 237 W/m^2

    At least one person was injured, roofs were ripped off, power lines were knocked down, and semi-tractor trailers were toppled after the strongest windstorm in five years struck Las Vegas in March 2017. Around 44,000 residents were left without power during the windstorm, according to KSNV.

  • #41. Connecticut

    - Mean wind speed for 10% windiest areas at 328 ft above sea level: 15.9 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 394 W/m^2
    - Mean wind speed at 33 ft above sea level: 8.9 mph
    --- Mean wind power density: 113 W/m^2

    During the last week of February 2019, strong winds knocked out power for nearly 2,500 residents across Connecticut. Following that, schools were closed and they canceled trains between New Haven and Mystic until the wind gusts subsided a day later, according to Fox 61.

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