Archive for Weather or Not

It’s different in Dixie

Nobody’s getting French toast:

WBTV has been broadcasting from Charlotte, North Carolina since 1949.

Comments (4)




A tornado with no rotation?

Occasionally the Weather Guys say something about “damaging straight-line winds.”

Looks like Enid is getting some serious damage:

KFOR-TV weather map 15 January 2018

And I’m not about to sit down and calculate the wind-chill factor.

(With thanks to Jeff Thompson.)

Comments (2)




Twice in a millennium

A 500-year rain, by definition, has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year; it does not mean that occurrences are 500 years apart. How much water would that take? From the Sunday Oklahoman:

For Oklahoma City, the following rainfall amounts would be considered 500-year rainfall events, according to Gary McManus, state climatologist, who referenced a report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey:

  • 2.6 inches of rain in 15 minutes.
  • 3.7 inches of rain in 30 minutes.
  • 5.2 inches of rain in one hour.
  • 6.8 inches of rain in two hours.
  • 7.6 inches of rain in three hours.
  • 8.4 inches of rain in six hours.
  • 9.6 inches of rain in 12 hours.
  • 12.5 inches of rain in 24 hours.
  • 14.8 inches of rain in three days.
  • 15.5 inches of rain in seven days.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the first three of these, and maybe more, during the 40+ years I’ve lived here. Example:

11.26 inches recorded on 6-14-2010 at a station 6.1 miles north of downtown Oklahoma City.

That’s almost certainly the OKC North Mesonet station. The “official” total for that day was 7.62 inches at Will Rogers World Airport, where the National Weather Service takes readings.

Yours truly reported at 8:53 am that day:

I think we can kiss that record goodbye. One of the Mesonet stations in town has already made it up to 8, the others aren’t far behind, and it’s still raining. The office ranges from 0.5 to 4.5 inches of water inside. Jesus Christ could walk through the parking lot, but He’s just about the only one.

On the upside, this served as a test for my new $10,000 roof, installed a few days before.

Comments (1)




There’s a road under there somewhere

Not that I’m willing to challenge the methodology or anything:

A new report issued by SafeWise identified Wyoming as the most dangerous state for driving in snow.

The online resource that provides information on safety for communities compiled stats from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2016 crash data to make a calculation that put Wyoming far out in front of any other state for winter driving hazards. Safewise calculated the likelihood of crashing during snow per 100,000 people in each state with Wyoming receiving a 1.5 chance compared to the nearest state: Vermont (0.8).

Best and worst states for winter driving by Safewise

McG points out that much of the problem comes from a single stretch of Interstate 80:

[U]sually it’s a particular stretch of I-80, running roughly between Rawlins and Laramie. The Snow Chi Minh Trail.

I’ve driven that stretch twice — both times in the summer — and though it’s scenic as all get out, it can also be nerve-wracking when unprepared car drivers are sharing just two lanes each way with the constant stream of big rigs.

Now add several inches of snow to the mix. From John Waggener’s book on the “Trail”:

The newly constructed stretch of I-80 was dedicated Oct. 3, 1970, but residents had warned highway officials of the adverse weather conditions around the Elk Mountain area and advised them not to build a road in that location. Wyomingites who knew their history reminded highway officials that the Union Pacific Railroad looked at that same area 100 years earlier when planning and constructing the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and decided against the shorter, more direct route.

But, just four days after the highway was dedicated, a winter storm wreaked havoc on motorists traveling on the new highway, which Wyomingites referred to as a “monument to human error,” Waggener says.

If the first week of October seems an unlikely time for a snowstorm, you ain’t seen nothing yet. To quote a resident: “There’s only two seasons — winter and July.”

As for that green patch in the Southeast: call me when you have a map for freezing-rain crashes.

Comments (5)




Even Jenny is cold these days

Specifically, these seven:

KWQC-TV, licensed to Davenport, Iowa, serves the Quad Cities area, where it’s just about that cold right about now.

Comments (1)




It being too warm in Alaska

Mount Washington, New Hampshire ain’t no kind of place to raise your kids, either:

By the end of this week, parts of the Northeast will be colder than Mars.

At Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, the temperature will plunge to minus 35 degrees Friday night into Saturday, weather observer Taylor Regan said. At last check several days ago, the high temperature on Mars was minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Neo-neocon demurs:

No fair comparing the low on the mountain to the high on Mars! But Mt. Washington is famous for having the most extreme weather on earth. Yes, you heard that right — on earth:

“Hurricane force winds occur an average of 110 days per year. Mount Washington holds the Northern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere records for directly measured surface wind speed — 231 mph, which was recorded on April 12, 1934.

“On January 16, 2004, the summit weather observation registered a temperature of −43.6 °F and sustained winds of 87.5 mph, resulting in a wind chill value of −102.59 °F on the mountain. During a 71-hour stretch from around 3 p.m. on January 13 to around 2 p.m. on January 16, 2004, the wind chill on the summit never went above −50 °F.”

Too many significant digits, say I: you can’t take two numbers accurate to three digits — assuming they actually are accurate to three digits — and get a result accurate to five digits.

Comments (1)




Why we rule

It’s simple: we survive crappy weather like this. Hell, some of us flourish in it:

Weather extremes remind me why humans are the predominant creature on this planet. We are remarkably adaptable. We can survive in a wide range of temperatures from bone chilling cold to numbingly hot. We thrive in deserts and swamps. We live in mountains and prairies. Not the fastest of animals, we can run for hours on end. A man can run a horse into the ground. Man is cunning and despite our veneer of civilization, surprisingly vicious. Man can eat nearly anything, including our fellow man, in a pinch. Whether you credit an infinite Supreme Being, Mother Nature, or random genetic mutation, Homo Sapiens is adaptable. I could fly from freezing weather to overheated tropics today with no ill effects at all. There is a reason we are at the top of the food chain, the true King of Beasts. I am willing to prove it if anyone wants to send me to the tropics. I can name some Caribbean Islands that would suffice as proper testing grounds.

And there’s just one more thing:

Further evidence of our exalted status as top predator: it is cold outside. I could go out and survive, but I don’t have to. And I won’t.

I’ll just point out that nobody ever mentions these facts on a sunny spring day.

Comments (1)




Just in case you thought it was cold

We got nothing on Traverse City, Michigan:

Rite Aid store in the -195º cold

(From MLive.com and meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.)

Comments (3)




So basically, another year like any other

“The most perverse weather this side of Baffin Bay,” I once said, and the year now wrapping up gives me no reason to change my mind:

Approximately one of those might have been bearable.

Comments




Not a glacial pace

It got up to 82°F yesterday at Will Rogers World Airport, the warmest it’s ever been in this town on the 17th of November, for certain values of “ever.” There were lawns mowed yesterday, fercryingoutloud. Then again, those of us who have been here for several decades tend to respond to the announcement of a new weather record with yawns: scarcely a month goes by without at least one new record of some sort.

NWS Norman, having heard a lot of those yawns, contributed this observation:

Speaking of the 15th of November, that day in 1976 featured the end of one of the feeblest multi-day snowfall events, um, ever: 0.1 inch on the 13th, 0.2 inch on the 14th, and a trace on the 15th.

And then there was the Weirdest Day Ever, 11 November 1911: high 83, low 17, both still records for the date.

Comments (2)




The sleet that’s elite

As reported this past weekend by a Kansas City television station:

Wintry mix in Kansas City

And let’s face it, the time to have a “wintery mix” is when it’s warm enough to stay melted. That wind, though, sounds scary.

Comments (4)




Peak wind

Seems like every time we turn around, someone’s discovered more oil and/or gas; at this rate, we’ll never run out of the stuff.

Wind power? Not so much:

Few people have probably noticed, but the world’s winds are getting slower. It is something that cannot be picked up by watching the billowing of dust or listening to the rustle of leaves on nearby trees.

Instead, it is a phenomenon occurring on a different scale, as the average global wind speed close to the surface of the land decreases. And while it is not affecting the whole earth evenly, the average terrestrial wind speed has decreased by 0.5 kilometres per hour (0.3 miles per hour) every decade, according to data starting in the 1960s.

Known as “stilling,” it has only been discovered in the last decade. And while it may sound deceptively calm, it could be a vital, missing piece of the climate change puzzle and a serious threat to our societies.

If it makes you feel any better, we had a 71-mph wind gust just down the road last night.

What seems to upset these Eurocrats is the fact that the earth, super-complex chaotic system that it is, simply will not do their bidding. On the upside, this phenomenon will enable them to spend more money, which is their major goal.

(Via Tim Blair.)

Comments (2)




Time to flip a table

To borrow a phrase, winter is coming:

Sunrise occurs later and later. There is nothing new in that statement, if made anytime past late June, but it is an indication that the long cold winter is not so far away. We still have warm days ahead. We will be back into the eighties in just a few days. The nighttime lows tell a different story. Winter is indeed just around the corner. We are but a few weeks from Halloween and in quick succession we will have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then we have the interminable months of January and February. I can look forward to complaining about my neighbors still burning their Christmas lights until April. There is that. The relentless calendar flips its pages.

Eighty-two here Sunday, 85 Monday, 85 yesterday. This is not so far off climatological norms — typical first-week-of-October highs are in the upper 70s — but the speed at which things change picks up considerably from here on out.

Sunrise, which gets here as early as 6:15 in June, now can’t be bothered to show up before 7:30, and will drag nearly to 8:00 before DST is at last swept away, only to blow in again in March.

Comments (4)




The flowers are here

The last place my older sister (she’d have been 62 this fall) lived was out in the West Texas town of El Paso, which gets maybe ten inches of rain a year. “You ought to be here the day we get it,” says the local joke.

But it’s a veritable rain forest next to this place:

What are we seeing here?

“In a normal year, this whole place, the entire environment, including hills, slopes, and plains is gray. There is no greenery, no flowers. Absolutely nothing,” says the researcher with the University of La Serena. “But as soon as a little bit of rain falls, this marvel appears,” she says, pointing out everything around her.

It is the flowering desert, a natural spectacle that occurs every five or 10 years due to the unpredictable phenomenon of El Niño, which warms the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The evaporation of these warm currents on the coasts of Chile causes abundant rain in the Atacama Desert, which triggers the germination and flowering of more than 200 native plant species that have been hidden for years under gray soil, waiting for a few drops of water.

The last time they had such a display as this, I am told, was 1997.

(Via Fausta’s blog.)

Comments off




Sick of hurricanes

Linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum raises the question of whether the way we name storms might be counterproductive:

I think it’s becoming clear that alternating male and female personal names to individuate Atlantic tropical cyclones is not a good idea. These storms are becoming far too nasty. Calling a storm “Harvey” makes it sound like your friendly uncle who always comes over on the Fourth of July and flirts with your mom. And “Irma” sounds like a dancer that he once knew when he was in Berlin.

Insufficiently intimidating, apparently. Here’s the fix:

Accordingly, next year the National Hurricane Center is planning to name tropical cyclonic storms and hurricanes after unpleasant diseases and medical conditions. Think about it. The state governor tells you a hurricane named Dracunculiasis is coming down on you, you’re gonna start packing the station wagon.

If you came back after Anthrax, Blastocystosis or Chlamydia, that is.

Anyway, that takes care of 2018. What comes next?

For 2019, the plan is to use names of parasitic worms and flesh-burrowing insects. After that, probably venomous snakes.

Politicians for 2021, I suggest.

Comments (9)




Smug idiots

They’re everywhere:

I have seen a couple of instances on social media of people pointing out, “See, all this is happening right after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement!”

Sure, but even if you believe the Agreement is funding some sort of Captain Planet-type corps of superheroes pushing back against the cruel thermometer of Wicked Industrial Mankind (it isn’t), there’s one tiny problem: “The Paris Agreement (French: Accord de Paris), Paris climate accord or Paris climate agreement, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.”

Catch that last? Twenty-twenty. So far, Paris hasn’t produced anything but fancy talk and high-falutin’ plans.

In fact, though President Trump most certainly has announced the U. S. would withdraw from the Agreement, it works out that the very earliest date by which this country could be out would be 4 November 2020, which just happens to be the day after the next Presidential elections, making this one of those safest of Presidential promises, slated to occur after the promiser’s term of office has ended.*

“But … but … CLIMATE CHANGE! Look at all these hurricanes!”

Um, no:

Looking back, the short-term “noise” of weather is huge compared to the long-term trendlines of climate: there’s a lot of jitter. On the scale of geologic time, the climate shows lovely rising and falling curves, Ice Age to Warm Period and back again, a bit sawtooth-y; zoom in to the span of a single human lifetime and the big curve vanishes under warm spells and cold snaps, floods and droughts. At no time has the planet been entirely Edenic: it’s a tough place for individual naked apes and it’s not all that great for the other critters, either: mortality is 100%.

I am persuaded that the single factor leading most people down the rabbit hole of “climate change” these days is the presence of a Ford F-250 truck with a Trump sticker on 35-inch wheels, two doors down.

The person who’s going to take this worst, you may be sure, is the guy who insists “See! It’s already proven!” Were that so, there’d be no reason to spend another 50 cents on research. So they’ll wait for the UN to fluff up some new way to pry dollars or euros out of working economies and then lavish them on Third World hellholes. It never takes long.

Comments (6)




Just two days?

From the Facebook page of the American Association for Nude Recreation, located in Kissimmee, Florida:

AANR Bulletin will be delayed two days because of Hurricane Irma

Two things that come to mind:

  • In more than a decade, I have never received The Bulletin earlier than the 27th of the month;
  • That’s not how you spell “inconvenience”. It’s not how I spell it, anyway.

No, I don’t think it’s being looked at before it hits my mailbox: it’s sealed in an extremely plain envelope, identified only as “The Bulletin” from their Kissimmee address.

And the home office is closed today and Monday, so I figure those must be the two days.

Comments off




Leaving it all behind

Sometimes I shake my head, and something ridiculous comes out.

There are, I am told, four nudist clubs within 50 miles of Houston, two of which are permanently established, the others being “non-landed” clubs which meet at a member’s house. I’d like to think that visitors fled once they got wind of the arrival of Harvey. But what if they waited too long?

And why would I ask such a thing? An unbidden memory of, believe it or not, an ocean liner. The SS Andrea Doria, the pride of the Italian line, was struck by MS Stockholm of the Swedish-American line on a summer day in 1956. There were only 46 fatalities; 1660 passengers and crew were rescued.

When I was a kid, I remember reading about this wreck in one of the ubiquitous Reader’s Digest Condensed Books volumes around the house. And there was a throwaway line about how “Some of the passengers sprang from their beds without clothing and departed the ship that way,” followed by a detailed description of one woman who made sure she was fully dressed and her makeup correctly applied before heading for the lifeboat. At the time, I was too young to think much of this passage. Many years later, something prodded the memory, and I asked myself if I could run for my life in my birthday suit. I decided I could not, and shoved the thought back into its slot.

Now, of course, we are presented with a massive rescue operation, and I am barely able to walk, let alone run. Fortunately for me, I’m nowhere near Houston; I surely would have perished by now. Would I have bothered to get dressed? I don’t know, and I don’t think I want to find out.

Comments (4)




Meanwhile on the Gulf

Several Facebook friends with Houston connections posted this. I’m not sure of the original source.

Things non-Houstonians need to understand:

1. The streets and many of the public parks here are designed to flood. We sit just 35 feet above sea level, and most of the city is as flat as a pool table. We average about 50 inches of rain a year. The streets and parks serve as temporary retention ponds, accommodating slow, steady drainage through our bayous.

2. We average about 50 inches of rain a year, but in the last 48 hours, many areas of greater Houston received 25 to 30 inches of rain. That’s six to nine months’ worth of rain, in two days. The drainage system, which works well in normal conditions, was overwhelmed. Officials are calling this an “800 year flood”: that means there was a one in 800 chance of its occurrence. Even with advance notice, there was little means of preparing for this.

3. It is impossible to evacuate a city the size of Houston. Harris County is 1700+ square miles, with a population of 6.5 million people. How do you evacuate 6.5 million people? During the hours leading to Hurricane Rita’s landfall, tens of thousands of Houstonians attempted evacuation. The traffic jams lasted for days. One hundred people died. So far, six Houstonians have died in Hurricane Harvey, all of them (as far as I have heard) drowned in their automobiles. For more than a decade, the local mantra has been “shelter in place and hunker down.” That’s hard, but it’s the right approach.

4. Some outsiders are treating this disaster with schadenfreude: Texans helped elect an anti-big government president, and now we’re going to need big government help. Houston is one of the bluest spots in Texas, and voted Clinton in 2016. Suggesting this is karmic payback for backing Trump is as inaccurate (and offensive) as Pat Robertson’s suggestion that Hurricane Katrina was God smiting sinners. We really aren’t thinking Red or Blue right now. We are taking a royal beating, all of us. Disasters don’t care about ideology.

5. You are going to feel this. Gasoline and other oil-refined products (everything from PVC pipe to dry cleaning fluid) will rise in price. The stock market will take a hit. New Orleans is a fantastic city, but it’s not a major economic force. Houston is the center of the nation’s energy industry. It’s home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. And 85% of it is under water. It may be this way for weeks.

And in the meantime, there’s baseball, somewhere:

I checked this with a sports guy at Fox 26 Houston:

Sheesh.

Comments (7)




Yeah, we’ll enhance your Fujita

There’s always a story from Tornado Alley:

There is an old joke: How can you tell if a person is from Oklahoma?

Answer: He is the one who stands outside in the thunderstorm looking at the sky.

C’est moi.

This CBS story asks why Tulsa’s warning sirens didn’t go off when a small tornado hit.

The officials said it was because by the time they got the radar warning, the tornado had moved on to Broken Arrow.

That sounds about right. Our sirens used to go off after the tornado had passed too, but in rural areas, you couldn’t always rely on weather radios or the local media … we got our news from radio stations 30 miles to the east, 40 miles to the west, or 50 miles to the south. The best way to track what was going on was to check the local TV station for the map where the “warnings” were … a big problem if they hit at night.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore:

So I’m so glad I now live in the Philippines, where we only have to worry about typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and dengue fever.

We’re not exactly slouches at this earthquake business nowadays.

Comments (3)




It speaketh, yet it understandeth not

The National Weather Service runs a network of FM radio stations, about a thousand of them, in the general vicinity of 162.475 MHz. Most of them are totally automated, with a computerized voice “reading” the scripts. Some of them sound better than others. One we had here for a while has intonation not unlike Arnold Schwarzegger’s, and “Arnold” is occasionally still pressed into service when the “regular” voice, which wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on NPR, isn’t working correctly. There is one ongoing problem with the “regular” voice, though: it can’t distinguish between “winds,” what the guy does with his wrist watch now and then, and “winds,” which will blow over your rubbish bin at 60 miles per hour. The former word, of course, is unlikely to be part of a weather forecast, but it will show up more often than you’d think.

Which is not to say that automated voices not run by the government are any better. This standard-issue heartwarming story turned up on YouTube with a fake female voice:

The text appears to be identical to what’s here, though the fake female is evidently baffled by the call letters of that Houston television station: she renders “KHOU” as “coo.” And her keeper isn’t the most articulate, either:

I make story videos, everytime and everywhere. Subscribe this channel for new stories :)

Fourteen thousand subscribers in less than a year. Evidently some people are a lot less bothered by this than I am.

Comments (6)




A bit windy in Ireland

Deric Ó hArtagáin reports for TV3:

If you’ve ever wondered why television stations worldwide always put some poor slob outside to show you how terrible the weather is, I’m thinking it’s at least partly a matter of sheer sadism.

Ó hArtagáin himself wasn’t particularly put out, though: he pinned a copy of the video to his Twitter page.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

Comments (2)




As dry as we wanna be

It borders on the impossible, in fact, for things to get much drier than this:

On Tuesday afternoon at 12 UTC on June 20, 2017, the temperature at Safi-Abad Dezful, Iran hit 115.7°F (46.5°C) with a -27.8°F (-33.2°C) dewpoint, giving this city of 420,000 in western Iran a ridiculously low relative humidity of 0.36%. At that level of atmospheric moisture, the temperature would have had to plunge 143°F (80°C) in order for the moisture to condense out and form ground-level clouds. If one were to cry in joy (or more likely) in despair at the heat, I doubt those tears would reach your lips!

I asked weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera about the reading, and he stated that he confirmed the validity of the reading with Iranian meteorologist Sabit Siddiqi. This was the lowest humidity in world recorded history that Herrera was aware of; the previous lowest humidity he knew of was in Las Vegas, Nevada: a 0.6% reading on June 27, 2011.

There’s apparently one more reading in this ballparK:

[O]n May 4, 2014, Needles, California hit 102°F (38.9°C) with a -36°F (-38°C) dewpoint, which works out to a relative humidity of 0.33%. Given that we can’t really measure humidity to a precision of hundreths of a percent, the two readings are pretty much tied for the lowest humidity record.

And going in the other direction:

A dew point of 35°C (95°F) was observed at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, at 3:00 p.m. on July 8, 2003.

God bless you, Willis Carrier.

Comments (8)




Only a minor exaggeration

Jupiter, we have learned, has storms big enough to encompass the entire land mass (and, for that matter, the oceans) of the Earth.

Not too far, therefore, from an Oklahoma spring:

“The National Weather Service has issued a severe storm warning for the entire surface of the Earth. There is a 100% chance of poisonous hail the size of Buicks and wind that will literally rip your face off. We advise you forget about survival and start getting hammered like we are.”

Moving down to the lowest level of the house won’t save you, unless your house goes as far down as the CN Tower goes up.

Comments (1)




Necessary precautions

But as we all eventually learned, this does actually work:

Dorothy Gale watches the weather report

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

Comments (2)




How the hell did that happen?

Oh, right. What was I thinking?

Rain causes wet roads, says WAFF in Huntsville, Alabama

WAFF is the NBC affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama.

(Via Joseph Pallotta.)

Comments (2)




Basking in the heat

The high temperature in Oklahoma City today — reached just after midnight, before a cold front came whistling through — was a fairly seasonable 60°F.

Now imagine what that would be like at the bottom of the world:

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), the U.N. weather agency said on Wednesday.

The Experanza base set the high on March 24, 2015, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said after reviewing data around Antarctica to set benchmarks to help track future global warming and natural variations.

The nature of a record high, of course, is that it’s atypical. (Worst day, heatwise, I’ve ever been through ran from 84° in the morning to a brain-numbing 113° in the afternoon.) The same is true of a record low. You’d expect some serious cold from Antarctica, but:

Wednesday’s WMO report only examined the highs.

The better to harangue the developed world about its alleged carbon profligacy, one presumes.

Comments (3)




Heard instinct

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I feel an ever-so-slight urge to strut a bit:

High temperature in OKC today was 81°F. There have been a couple of days in Februarys past when we saw 90 or more, but I don’t see any of those on the horizon.

Comments off




Says it all, or at least most of it

For the record, she is now at The Dallas Morning News. Why anyone would live in Dallas — ice storms in January, scorching heat in July — is beyond me.

Comments (4)




Wind unwound?

The Big Breezy wasn’t all that breezy last year, reports Oklahoman Real Estate Editor Richard Mize:

At first glance, it’s hard to believe Oklahoma City didn’t make CoreLogic’s annual Windy City Index for 2016, neither by top wind speed nor number of wind events. That’s partly because tornadoes don’t count as wind events. So even the couple of little tornadoes that did hit last year wouldn’t have changed the rankings.

Now I want to yell at the weather forecasters with their tornado suits on: “You call that a wind event?

So who tops the index? Nashville, Tennessee:

The windiest city in the U.S. in 2016 was Nashville, according to a yearly analysis of weather data from CoreLogic, a research and consulting firm.

The city came in first among the nation’s largest 279 metro areas, CoreLogic said. The ranking takes into account both the number of strong wind events as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.

Nashville had 21 wind-related events in 2016 and a maximum wind speed of 72 mph. It was followed by Reno, Jackson, Miss., Cincinnati and Columbia, S.C., as the USA’s windiest cities last year, according to CoreLogic.

If these places seem awfully close to one another, there’s a reason for that:

All of the USA’s highest wind speeds in 2016 were recorded during Hurricane Matthew’s rampage up the East Coast, with the highest being 101 mph, which was recorded at Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 6.

And if you’re asking why CoreLogic cares, Mize can tell you:

CoreLogic, a financial and property data firm based in Irvine, California — with its Weather Verification Services arm in Norman — collects and [analyzes] this data to provide to the insurance industry. One-fourth of all claims are for wind damage, CoreLogic says.

We may take heart in the fact that Chicago, the Windy City of legend, didn’t place either.

Comments (2)