Chicago may be known as the “Windy City,” but quite a few American cities have it beat when it comes to wind velocity. These locations, which range from rural to urban places and cover states from Massachusetts to Hawaii, have one thing in common: winds that will knock you off your feet.
Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 24/7 Wall St. has identified the 34 cities where the average annual wind speed was 10.5 miles per hour or more from 1984 through 2015. Chicago’s average wind speed is less than 10 mph. For further context, the average wind speed in Los Angeles is only 1.9 mph.
Texas is home to the seven of the windiest cities — the most of any one state. These include Texas Panhandle cities such as Amarillo as well as cities located on the Gulf Coast, such as Corpus Christi and Galveston. Alaska is the second most common state with six cities on this list, followed by Kansas, well known for its frequent tornadoes, with four.
The average annual wind speeds in these cities is of course far lower than their maximum wind speeds. In five of the cities — Kodiak, Alaska; Kahului, Hawaii; Fargo North Dakota; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Amarillo, Texas — the maximum wind speed reached 99 mph as of 2015. While this is the fastest speed measured in the cities on our list, it pales in comparison to the 229 mph winds recorded at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire as of that same year. As it isn’t a city, however, Mount Washington is absent from our list.