Science

NATIONAL BIG WIND DAY - April 12

NATIONAL BIG WIND DAY – April 12

NATIONAL BIG WIND DAY

Observed each year in the United States on April 12th, National Big Wind Day commemorates the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface.  On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded winds at 231 miles per hour.

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft, and it is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.

Observers Wendell Stephenson, Alexander McKenzie and Salvadore Pagliuca reported the wind gusts in 1934 from the Mount Washington Observatory. The record even held for several decades. In 1984, the observers returned to the observatory to celebrate the record-breaking wind’s 50th anniversary. Then in 1996, the big wind award from atop Mount Washington fell. A typhoon struck a small island off of Australia with wind gusts of 256 mph.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBigWindDay

  • Hold on to your hat and share stories of windy day events.
  • Visit an observatory near you to find out more about how they study atmosphere changes, weather, and wind changes.
  • Try flying a kite into the wind.
  • Take a windblown selfie.
  • Use this day to learn more and use #NationalBigWindDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL BIG WIND DAY HISTORY

While the day celebrates the anniversary of the record-breaking wind at Mount Washington’s Observatory, we have not identified the founder of the day. 

Wind FAQ

Q. Where is the windiest place in the world?
A. According to Guinness World Records and National Geographic Atlas, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica is the windiest place in the world. Combining extreme winds with extreme temperatures the bay frequently boasts wind speeds that exceed 100 mph!

Q. Why is Chicago called the “Windy City”?
A. Thanks to its location on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago receives frequent and sometimes forceful northeasterly winds. However, it only ranks twelfth on the list of windiest cities in the United States. That title goes to Amarillo, Texas according to the Weather Station Experts.