Missouri has some beautiful weather, but it is also part of Tornado Alley. This means we get some of the worst tornadoes in history.
An 1896 tornado hit St. Louis, killing at least 255 people and causing $10 million in damage. More recently, a 2011 tornado destroyed roughly one-third of Joplin, killing 159 and injuring more than 1,000.
Let’s start at the beginning and look at average wind speed followed by thunderstorm wind speeds.
Windiest Cities and Towns in Missouri: Average Wind Speed
We’ve pulled the average wind speed information at City-Data to find the top 20 cities in Missouri for the highest average wind speed. We’ve chosen only those cities with populations larger than 30,000.
Windiest Cities and Towns in Missouri: Thunderstorm Winds
Average wind speed can tell us a bit about the local conditions, but it’s the thunderstorm winds that really show what can happen with high winds. We’ve reviewed NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s Storm Events Database. In the range of Nov. 1, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2020, they identified 91 places affected. Here are the top 20 ranked by recorded wind speed.
|1||Gideon, New Madrid County||96|
|2||Brownwood, Stoddard County||87|
|3||Campbell, Dunklin County||87|
|4||Peach Orchard, Pemiscot County||87|
|5||Bennett, Ripley County||83|
|6||Shook, Wayne County||78|
|7||Lebanon Jones Field, Laclede County||77|
|8||Protem, Taney County||74|
|9||Fairview, Taney County||74|
|10||Kennett, Dunklin County||74|
|11||Longrun, Ozark County||70|
|12||Neelyville, Butler County||70|
|13||Lacyville, Bates County||70|
|14||Qulin, Butler County||70|
|15||Springfield Airport, Greene County||70|
|16||Mercer, Mercer County||70|
|17||South St. Joseph, Buchanan County||70|
|18||Protem, Taney County||65|
|19||Oxly, Ripley County||65|
|20||Qulin, Butler County||65|
Some towns are listed twice because of two different thunderstorms during that time frame. In this same data set, NOAA identifies the property damage incurred from the storms. With Gideon and its 96-mph winds, there was $5 million in property damage and $1 million in crop damage with that May 4, 2020, macroburst. Peak winds were estimated at 110 mph.
Winds in Our Hometowns
We’ve gone further into the numbers for the locations in Missouri where we have offices.
Kansas City essentially ties for first place on the average wind list at approximately 10.6 mph. The thunderstorms on June 4 and 5 in 2020 had winds that gusted to 64 mph.
Moberly weighs in at about 9.8-mph average wind speed, just outside the rankings above. Nov. 10, 2020, saw 52-mph thunderstorm winds.
Springfield ranks seventh on average winds at approximately 10.4 mph. Springfield Airport recorded 70-mph thunderstorm winds on June 4, 2020. Property damage was estimated at $350,000.
St. Louis came in tied for eleventh for an average wind speed of 9.6 mph. It saw thunderstorm wind speeds of 61 mph during an April 28, 2020, event.
Impact on Your Home from Winds and Storms
The National Weather Service provides a wind estimation scale designed to provide observers with a means to gauge wind speed. Here are the details.
You can tell that strong winds can find weak spots in nearby trees, power lines, and on your home. Shingles can break off in the wind and even your gutters and downspouts can be torn down. All that flying debris can do further damage to your home, including breaking windows. That provides a way for rain to enter your home.
We’re hopeful that high winds won’t damage your home’s foundation. But rainwater driven by wind can find its way into your basement or crawl space if there are any cracks or if the water accumulates around your home.
We recommend that you consult the professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your basement or crawl space that need attention in preparation for storms and heavy rains.