CoreLogic Ranks the Windiest Cities in the U.S.

October 26, 2015

Jackson, Miss., is the windiest city in the nation, according to new data released by CoreLogic. Springfield, Mo., Boston and Cambridge, Mass., followed by Shreveport, La., rounded out the top five windiest cities.

The CoreLogic Windy City Ranking provides a national ranking of the nation’s windiest cities and is generated by calculating the total force caused by all severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more for every wind event dating back to 2006. The analysis, which also takes into account the total number of wind events, assigns a numerical score ranging from 1-100 to 293 cities analyzed with data captured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius.

Table 1 provides a top-ten ranking of the windiest cities over this nine-year timeframe, with Jackson recording a maximum wind speed of 99 mph and 153 separate wind events, putting it at the top. Despite being nicknamed ‘The Windy City,’ Chicago ranks 50th. When looking only at wind speeds over the nine-year timeframe, three cities surpassed wind speeds of 100 mph, including Reno (126 mph), Westminster, CO (108 mph) and Round Rock, TX (103 mph).

Table 1: Windy City Ranking (Jan 2006-June 2015)
Rank City State CoreLogic Rankings Number of Wind Events Max Wind Speed Date of Max Wind Speed
1 Jackson Mississippi 95 153 99 4/4/08
2 Springfield Missouri 92 128 97 1/7/08
3 Boston Massachusetts 89 121 83 10/29/12
4 Cambridge Massachusetts 88 116 83 10/29/12
5 Shreveport Louisiana 87 108 77 7/26/13
6 High Point North Carolina 86 110 76 3/28/10
7 Nashville Tennessee 86 102 86 6/26/10
8 Gainesville Florida 85 106 71 4/15/07
9 Columbia South Carolina 85 101 73 7/17/07
10 Boulder Colorado 85 79 108 6/6/07

The CoreLogic Windy City Ranking uses wind verification technology to evaluate wind speeds and distinct wind events in 293 U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Unlike traditional wind records, which rely on airport-based and private weather observation stations that record data only at one location, the wind verification technology captures wind data at a more property-specific level. The data is localized and geography-specific so that even cities which are very close together, such as Boston and Cambridge can be measured independently.

This ability to evaluate wind activity at the granular level helps improve the accuracy and timing of the costly insurance claims related to wind damage. Industry estimates indicate that wind damage represents 20 to 30 percent of all insurance claims each year. With such a significant percentage of insurance claims attributed to wind, the technology allows insurance professionals to verify if and when severe winds were detected at or near a specific location in order to make more precise damage assessments.

2015 Wind Analysis

For the first half of 2015, Reno recorded the highest wind speed at 119 mph and Jackson, Miss., recorded the most wind events at 14, as of June 2015 (Tables 2 and 3, respectively). The analysis also concludes that the highest straight-line wind speeds so far this year have been recorded on the West Coast, while the most wind events have occurred east of the Rocky Mountains. The cities with the strongest straight-line winds tend to be adjacent to large mountain ranges prone to winter wind storms, which although infrequent, can be powerful.

Table 2: U.S. Cities Ranked by Highest Wind Speed in 2015 (through June 30)
City State Wind Speed Date
Reno Nevada 119 2/6/15
Boulder Colorado 87 1/5/15
Wichita Kansas 86 4/2/15
Amarillo Texas 84 6/14/15
Salt Lake City Utah 84 4/14/15
Reno Nevada 83 3/15/15
Sioux Falls South Dakota 83 6/21/15
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 81 5/16/15
Huntsville Alabama 80 4/3/15
Norman Oklahoma 80 5/16/15
Table 3: U.S. Cities Ranked by Total Number of Wind Events in 2015 (through June 30)
City State Count Wind Speed Date
Jackson Mississippi 14 75 4/13/15
Jacksonville Florida 10 71 6/13/15
Cincinnati Ohio 8 72 4/9/15
Columbia South Carolina 8 69 6/30/15
Norman Oklahoma 8 80 5/16/15
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 8 71 5/29/15
Shreveport Louisiana 8 73 5/25/15
Tallahassee Florida 8 70 4/19/15
Charlotte North Carolina 7 68 6/2/15
Dayton Ohio 7 72 5/26/15

“When looking at various natural hazards and the risk they pose, wind doesn’t get as much attention as hurricanes, floods or wildfires which can cause widespread devastation in just a single event. However wind-related damage is a serious and ongoing risk with about a third of all claims related to wind and hail,” said Lindene Patton, global head of hazard product development for CoreLogic. “Reviewing wind activity over multiple years helps identify trends and provide further scientific data to inform insurance coverage which, in turn, better protects homeowners.”

Source: CoreLogic

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