Living in Chicago I thought it would be a good idea to name the “Top 5 Windiest Cities in the World.” Is Chicago on the top 5 list? Nope, not even close. So lets take a look at the “Top 5 Windiest Cities in the World” (using average wind speed).
1) Wellington, New Zealand
Also known as the “Most Southerly Capital City in the World,” Wellington, New Zealand is the windiest city in the world with an annual average around 16 knots/hr (18 miles/hr). Wellington is located in what is known as a River of Wind, a wind corridor between the South and North Islands of New Zealand. On average, the city sees 173 days above 32 knots and 22 days over 40 knots. Wellington is a great place to travel though, and it was named the Lonely Planet’s 4th Best Destination in 2011.
2) Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Rio Gallegos, Argentina is the 2nd windiest city on Earth and is located on the far southern tip of Argentina. It’s not uncommon for Rio Gallegos to get wind gusts reaching up to 53 knots; that is around 63 miles per hour! The annual average is 16 mph but December is the windiest month and 30 mph winds are considered the norm at this time.
3) St. Johns, NL, Canada
St. Johns, in Newfoundland and Labrador, beats all other Canadian cities in atmospheric records and is one of the windiest cities in the world. Of the major Canadian cities, St. Johns is the foggiest (124 days), snowiest (359 cm (141 in)), wettest (1,514 mm (59.6 in)), most cloudy (only 1,497 hours of sunshine), and of course the windiest (24.3 km/h (15.1 mph) average speed). It does have one major advantage though: its winters are among the mildest in Canada.
4) Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas, or Sandy Point in Spanish, is located close to Rio Gallegos, Argentina but a little further south. It is the windiest city in Chile and one of the windiest cities in the world, averaging a wind speed of 14.5 mph year round. The windiest month is December while June is the calmest. Punta Arenas is one of the world’s southern-most cities and one of few cities directly affected by the ozone layer.
5) Dodge City, KS, United States
Dodge City, Kansas is considered to be the 5th windiest city with an average wind-speed of 14 mph. Even a light snow could easily create blizzard-like conditions due to the force of the wind in wintertime. Kansas City also sits in the famous “tornado alley.” Many other cities in this region also rank highly among the windiest cities in the world.
My list only mentions the Top 5 windiest cities in the world because records are debated below that. Some cities are only windier but a tenth of a mile per hour, etc… and climate is changing every year. It is worth noting that these are the windiest cities with a sizable population. There are certainly windier places in the world (like Antarctica, for example) but the list is specific to cities, not un-populated regions. There is a debate that Milton, Massachusetts may be the windiest city in the United States so I suppose it deserves an honorable mention as the 6th city on the list. Weather is changing constantly so if you feel like you know of a windier city, do comment!!
images by: cernese, Alejandro, phishix, UNT, Chris, Cuba Gallery