With its nickname “The Windy City,” you’d probably think Chicago would be at the top of the list of windiest cities. However, it turns out that there are many windy cities globally – including many cities that are much windier than Chicago! At the top of the list of windiest cities in the world is Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica. Along with high wind speeds (which can reach over 200 MPH in a severe storm), Commonwealth Bay and other windiest cities have some of the most extreme weather conditions on record. If you’re wondering where to go (or not) for the wind, here’s a guide to the world’s windiest cities.
Commonwealth Bay Antarctica
Commonwealth Bay is included in the National Geographic Atlas and the Guinness Book of World Records because it has the world’s highest wind speeds. The average annual wind speed is 50 MPH year-round. However, winds can regularly reach speeds of 150 MPH or more.
Wellington, New Zealand
According to statistics, Wellington is the second windiest city in the world. It is no surprise, then, that the strong winds have given the city the nickname “Windy Wellington.” Year-round, the average wind speed is 27 MPH. Wind speeds over gale force are measured 233 days a year.
Bridge Creek, Oklahoma
The wind may rage across the plains of Oklahoma, but it also rages through Bridge Creek. The highest wind speed ever measured in Bridge Creek is over 300 MPH. This speed was measured during a tornado in 1999. Depending on the source, experts say the tornado’s wind speed ranged from 302 to 318 MPH.
St. John’s Canada
St. John’s in Canada is the windiest city in the country and one of the windiest in the world. It has more than 15 days a year with winds that average 40 MPH or higher. St. John’s is also a cold city that experiences the second worst snowstorm in Canada.
Barrow Island, Australia
Barrow Island in Australia has some of the strongest winds ever measured. Located off Australia’s west coast, it has no natural protection (or defense) from the winds and waves. The strongest winds measured here date back to 1996. During Cyclone Olivia, wind speeds of nearly 255 MPH were measured. Barrow Island surpassed the wind speeds measured at Mount Washington with these record winds, also known for its strongest winds.
Cape Blanco, Oregon
Cape Blanco in Oregon is best known for its strong winds during coastal storms. In winter, winds regularly reach speeds of 70-100 MPH. Wind gusts of over 100 MPH are also not uncommon – the highest wind speed ever measured is 127 MPH during a powerful coastal storm.
Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Rio Gallegos in Argentina is also on the list of the world’s windiest cities. Rio Gallegos regularly experiences wind speeds over 30 MPH. It is also not unusual for the winds there to average 60 MPH or more. As in many of the other windiest cities, even higher wind speeds are recorded during storms.
Ab-Paran is on the list of windiest cities because it regularly experiences severe storms with strong wind gusts. In 2008, a record wind speed of 204 MPH was measured there, quickly putting it on the list of windiest places on the planet.
Gruissan, located in the south of France, experiences powerful winds called “Tramontane.” The Tramontane winds, which blow from the northwest, create many windy days in Gruissan. The winds also create seasonally cool temperatures. The city has average wind speeds of 18 MPH or higher on 300 days of the year, if not more.
Dodge City, Kansas
The fifth on our list, with an average wind speed of 22.5 MPH. In this city, even a small amount of snow can cause a wild blizzard due to the insane power. The city of Kansas is also fortunate to be located in the famous “tornado alley.”