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Extreme Wind Speed Data Sets: Daily Maxima

Data sets for Daily Maximum Wind Speeds This section contains the data sets of recorded daily fastest-mile wind speeds in open terrain as provided by the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Elevations The anemometer elevations for the recorded data were changed during the period of record at the following stations:
  • Dayton, OH: 6.1 m to 2/4/74; 6.7 m thereafter;
  • Duluth, MN: 16.2 m to 10/15/75; 6.4 m thereafter;
  • Missoula, MT: 6.1 m to 6/24/82; 9.8 m thereafter;
  • Oklahoma City, OK: 16.8 m to 10/21/65; 6.1 m thereafter;
  • Portland, OR: 7.6 m to 3/1/73; 6.1 m thereafter;
  • San Diego, CA: 6.4 m to 8/13/69; 6.1 m thereafter;
  • Toledo, OH: 6.1 m to 11/1/68; 10 m thereafter;
  • Winnemucca, NV: 10.4 m to 4/22/66; 6.1 m thereafter.
For the stations indicated above, the data listed on this site correspond to a 10 m elevation above ground. For all other stations the anemometer elevations were unchanged during the period of record and are listed below. The data listed on this site for the following stations correspond to these elevations, rather than to a 10 m elevation.
  • Abilene, TX 6.1 m;
  • Albany, NY 6.1 m;
  • Albuquerque, NM 7 m;
  • Billings, MT 7 m;
  • Binghamton, NY 6.7 m;
  • Boise, ID 5.8 m;
  • Burlington, VT 6.1 m;
  • Cheyenne, WY 10 m;
  • Concord, NH 6.1 m;
  • Denver, CO 6.1 m;
  • Fort Smith, AK 7 m;
  • Fort Wayne, IN 6.1 m;
  • Green Bay, WI 6.1 m;
  • Greensboro, NC 6.1 m;
  • Greenville, SC 7 m;
  • Helena, MT 6.1 m;
  • Huron, SD 6.1 m;
  • Lander, WY 9.8 m;
  • Lansing, MI 6.1 m;
  • Louisville, KY 6.1 m;
  • Macon, GA 7 m;
  • Milwaukee, WI 6.1 m;
  • Minneapolis, MN 6.4 m;
  • Moline, IL 7.6 m;
  • Pocatello, ID 6.1 m;
  • Portland, ME 6.1 m;
  • Pueblo, CO 6.4 m;
  • Red Bluff, CA 6.1 m;
  • Richmond, VA 6.1 m;
  • Salt Lake City, UT 6.1 m;
  • Sheridan, WY 6.1 m;
  • Spokane, WA 6.1 m;
  • Springfield, MO 6.1 m;
  • Topeka, KS 6.1 m;
  • Tucson, AZ 6.1 m;
  • Yuma, AZ 6.4 m.
Conversion to Speed at 10m To convert the speed, V, at elevation z (in meters) to the corresponding speed at elevation 10 m, the following approximate formula can be used:
    V(10)=5.3 V(z)/ln(20 z).
This formula follows from the logarithmic law, which describes the variation of wind speed with height (see E. Simiu and R.H. Scanlan, Wind Effects on Structures, 3rd ed., Wiley-Interscience, 1996, p. 48, Eq. 2.2.31), in which, for open terrain, it is assumed that the terrain roughness length is zo=0.05 m.
Discrepancies in the Data For a number of stations and dates discrepancies were found between recorded yearly maximum fastest mile speeds, as checked by the National Climatic Data Center against the original records, and recorded daily maximum fastest miles listed in this subdirectory for the day in which the yearly maximum fastest mile wind speed occurred. The correct values to be used in lieu of the values listed in the daily fastest mile wind speed files are listed below. All the corrected speeds are given for the anemometer elevations at which they were recorded.
  • Cheyenne, WY : 3/6/72: 69 mph; 1/18/75: 61 mph; 6/14/76: 65 mph;
  • Dayton, OH : 6/27/66: 40 mph; 2/16/67: 56 mph; 5/14/70: 48 mph;
  • Fort Wayne: 8/27/65: 51 mph;
  • Greenville, SC: 7/15/66: 57 mph;
  • Lander, WY: 4/12/68: 49 mph;
  • Louisville, KY: 2/15/67: 57 mph;
  • Milwaukee, WI: 6/16/73: 52 mph;
  • Minneapolis, MN: 7/10/66: 52 mph;
  • Missoula, MT: 7/31/83: 67 mph;
  • Portland, ME: 12/24/70: 38 mph;
  • Portland, OR: 12/11/69: 48 mph;
  • Pueblo, CO: 5/12/75: 65 mph;
  • Richmond, VA: 7/11/73: 47 mph;
  • Sheridan, WY: 3/2/74: 52 mph.
Structure of the Data Files There are 44 files for locations in regions of the U.S. for which hurricanes and tropical storms are not expected. (It is also assumed that none of the data collected are a result of tornado winds.) The structure of each data file is as follows:
  • Line 1: City identifier, plus other information not needed for the analysis program.

  • Line 2: Blank, usually. In some files, the time period of data collection is repeated.

  • Line 3: Year/Month

  • Line 4: day #   windspeed     day #   windspeed ...

  • Line 5: day #   windspeed     day #   windspeed ...

  • Line 6: day #   windspeed     day #   windspeed ...
Lines 3-6 are repeated for each month of data.
Download Datasets The following is the list of available datasets. You can also download all of the files as a single zip file. Note that if you unzip this file on a Unix/Linux platform, you should use the "zip -a" option in order to obtain the correct "LF/CR" convention.

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Date created: 05/02/2005
Last updated: 03/10/2011
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