October 23, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
Jackson, Mississippi is the windiest city in the United States, recording a maximum wind speed of 99 miles per hour (about 159 kilometres per hour) and 153 separate wind events over a nine-year period, according to new data released on Friday by CoreLogic.
The CoreLogic Windy City Ranking provides a ranking of the U.S.’s windiest cities by calculating the total force caused by all severe wind gusts of 60 mph (96.5 km/h) or more for every wind event dating back to 2006, said a statement from CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider. The analysis, which also takes into account the total number of wind events, assigns a numerical score ranging from 1 to 100 to the 293 cities analyzed, with data captured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius.
CoreLogic explained in the statement that the ranking uses proprietary wind verification technology to evaluate wind speeds and distinct wind events in the 293 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, CoreLogic wind verification technology captures wind data at a more property-specific level, the company said. The data is also localized and geography-specific, so that even cities which are very close together, such as Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts 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,” the statement said, adding that industry estimates indicate that wind damage represents 20 to 30% of all insurance claims each year. “With such a significant percentage of insurance claims attributed to wind, CoreLogic’s wind verification 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,” the statement noted. [click image below to enlarge]
According to the data, Jackson, Mississippi was the windiest city, followed by Springfield, Missouri, Boston, Cambridge and Shreveport, Louisiana. Interestingly, despite being nicknamed ‘The Windy City,’ Chicago ranked 50th.
When looking only at wind speeds over the nine-year timeframe, three cities surpassed wind speeds of 100 mph (161 km/h), including Reno (126 mph), Westminster, Colorado (108 mph) and Round Rock, Texas (103 mph).
For the first half of 2015, Reno, Nevada recorded the highest wind speed at 119 mph and Jackson recorded the most wind events at 14, as of June 2015. 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.
“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,” said Lindene Patton, global head of hazard product development for CoreLogic, in the statement. “However wind-related damage is a serious and ongoing risk with about a third of all claims related to wind and hail. Reviewing wind activity over multiple years helps identify trends and provide further scientific data to inform insurance coverage which, in turn, better protects homeowners.”