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Author Topic: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds  (Read 224 times)

ghYHZ

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3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« on: January 22, 2020, 09:04:57 AM »

There's been talk of a Newfoundland Meet.....but best to put it off for a couple of months! St. John's and the Avalon Peninsula (metro pop about a quarter million)  was buried in 3 feet of snow with hurricane force winds last Friday and is still digging out:




And Snowboarding down the hills on the city streets:


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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 09:06:28 AM »

I've been wondering what the maximum recorded wind speed is outside of a hurricane, tornado, or similar storm. I haven't been able to find the answer online.
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Three Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 09:19:47 AM »

I mean, the definition of a "storm" is pretty ambiguous. If you mean to exclude any storm-like weather entirely, i.e. only winds under clear or mostly clear skies, then it's probably only like 50-60 miles per hour, and that's happened in a lot of places. Hell, that happened here several days ago. But it becomes pretty meaningless at that point.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 09:33:49 AM by MNHighwayMan »
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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2020, 10:37:20 AM »

I've been wondering what the maximum recorded wind speed is outside of a hurricane, tornado, or similar storm. I haven't been able to find the answer online.

231 mph gust on Mount Washington in 1934, which remains the fastest gust ever measured by humans.

The fastest wind ever measured by an anemometer was a 254 mph gust on an Australian island during a 1996 tropical cyclone, measured by an unmanned weather station. That should count, in my opinion, because hurricanes exist on a big enough scale that this kind of thing is measurable - after all, we count low pressure records set in tropical cyclones. Fastest ever recorded was 301 mph in the 1999 Moore tornado, but the key difference here is that was an estimate made by a mobile Doppler weather radar, which also had a measurement error of 20 mph - so the actual wind could have been anywhere from 281 to 321 mph.

The problem with tornadoes and hurricanes generally is they're just so violent and small-scale that you can't usually get direct measurements for them. Most anemometers will blow away (seriously) or otherwise stop functioning at speeds well below these. This is a big part of why, despite the relatively dense network of weather stations in the US, we have to do a lot of analysis after a hurricane hits to figure out its landfalling wind speed and pressure. The central pressure of an intense tornado might be even lower than some of the lowest hurricane pressures recorded, but how are you going to measure that? It's not like you can get in a tornado hunter plane and send a dropsonde into the eye.
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2020, 10:43:52 AM »

Fastest ever recorded was 301 mph in the 1999 Moore tornado, but the key difference here is that was an estimate made by a mobile Doppler weather radar, which also had a measurement error of 20 mph - so the actual wind could have been anywhere from 281 to 321 mph.

The 2013 El Reno tornado had a very similar wind speed measurement (302 mph), although I can't find any error margin data on that one.
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SectorZ

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 10:45:41 AM »

I've been wondering what the maximum recorded wind speed is outside of a hurricane, tornado, or similar storm. I haven't been able to find the answer online.

150 MPH in a microburst at Andrews Air Field
231 MPH on Mt. Washington

For non-hurricane low-pressure systems, you're looking at about 125 MPH or so as the max possible there.
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kphoger

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2020, 11:11:09 AM »

I mean, the definition of a "storm" is pretty ambiguous. If you mean to exclude any storm-like weather entirely, i.e. only winds under clear or mostly clear skies, then it's probably only like 50-60 miles per hour, and that's happened in a lot of places. Hell, that happened here several days ago. But it becomes pretty meaningless at that point.

Heck, I've personally been outside on a day that had 70mph wind gusts (50mph sustained).

My grandpa and I were using the charcoal grill, and keeping the coals going was not the easiest thing to do that day.  We had to keep it halfway in the garage and constantly adjust the openings on top and bottom.  When our trash can lid blew down the street, I almost couldn't make it back to the house after fetching it.
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webny99

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 09:57:43 AM »

I mean, the definition of a "storm" is pretty ambiguous. If you mean to exclude any storm-like weather entirely, i.e. only winds under clear or mostly clear skies, then it's probably only like 50-60 miles per hour, and that's happened in a lot of places. Hell, that happened here several days ago. But it becomes pretty meaningless at that point.

Heck, I've personally been outside on a day that had 70mph wind gusts (50mph sustained).

I was outside - and went for a walk, in fact - on a day in March 2018 when an 81 mph gust was recorded at the Rochester Airport.
(Because why not keep the one-upping going?  :-P)

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kphoger

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 10:15:30 AM »

I wasn't trying to one-up, just pointing out that non-storm winds above 60 mph are common enough that I've personally experienced it.
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nexus73

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Re: 3 Feet of Snow & Hurricane Winds
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 04:57:14 PM »

If you want a lot of wind, Cape Blanco on the SW Oregon coast is the place to be.  If Coos Bay is getting hit with 40 MPH winds, figure on Cape Blanco being at 70 MPH. 

Looking at tsunami inundation maps reveals there is enough high ground at Cape Blanco for one to watch the tsunami activity resulting from the Cascadia Subduction Zone quake.  Imagine being there for that when the wind is howling!

One time friends of mine and myself were out at Cape Blanco watching a guy fly a remote controlled plane when the winds were about 50 MPH.  He made the plane fly anyway he wanted even with that much wind.  It was an amazing sight!

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