Hurricane Matthew Clocks Top Wind Speed for 2016 at 101 MPH

Annual Wind Analysis Ranks Nashville, TN as Windiest City

Jan 16, 2017 -- According to the CoreLogic® Windy City Index, an annual analysis of top wind-related natural hazard events, Kennedy Space Center, FL had the highest estimated wind speed in 2016 at 101 mph on October 6 during Hurricane Matthew. The hurricane, which became the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Felix in 2007, affected Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with peak winds of 85 mph and above in multiple cities. Table 1 shows the maximum wind speed for Hurricane Matthew from 101 mph in Kennedy Space Center to 86 mph in Soperton, GA. An additional 171 cities had estimated winds ranging from 75 mph to 85 mph, which is considered significantly high by the National Weather Service, as a result of the storm.

While Hurricane Matthew claimed the top wind speeds in multiple cities, many of which are smaller and not typically included in the Windy City Index ranking, an analysis of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas shows that Nashville, TN, ranks first as the windiest city overall with 21 wind-related events and a maximum wind speed of 72 mph. The ranking among the nation’s largest 279 metros incorporates both the number of wind events, measured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius, as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more. After Nashville, the top windy cities for 2016 are Reno, NV, Jackson, MS, Cincinnati, OH and Columbia, SC (Table 2).

When looking only at wind speeds for the largest metros, Tallahassee, FL had the highest wind speed at 92 mph on September 1, 2016 (Table 3). Analysis of the number of wind events for the year shows that Nashville and Jackson tied for the most wind events at 21, followed by Columbia at 18, Cambridge, MA at 17 and Cincinnati at 16 (Table 4).

“Wind can cause significant damage whether associated with an actual hurricane or not,” said Curtis McDonald, product manager at CoreLogic. “Wind speeds of 92 mph, even without a hurricane - as seen in Tallahassee - can be a significant threat to life and property. Hurricane Matthew’s high winds will result in insurance claims related specifically to wind events, and with insurance industry estimates putting wind damage at 25 percent of all insurance claims each year, that percentage will likely be higher in 2016 due to Matthew.”

The CoreLogic Windy City Index uses proprietary forensic wind verification technology to evaluate wind events and maximum wind gusts occurring at the ground level across the U.S. in cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Unlike traditional wind records which rely on airport-based and private weather observation stations that record data at only one location, CoreLogic wind verification technology provides wind analysis at the property-specific level. The data is localized and geographically specific so that even cities that are very close together can be measured independently.

Table 1: Hurricane Matthew Top Wind Speeds

City

State

Wind Speed

Date

Kennedy Space Center FL 101 10/6/2016
Cape Canaveral FL 96 10/6/2016
Mims FL 92 10/6/2016
Saint Augustine FL 90 10/7/2016
Saint Augustine Beach FL 90 10/7/2016
Vilano Beach FL 90 10/7/2016
Daytona Beach FL 89 10/7/2016
Statesboro GA 89 10/7/2016
Saint Augustine Shores FL 89 10/7/2016
Tybee Island GA 89 10/7/2016
Seabrook Island SC 89 10/7/2016
Savannah GA 88 10/8/2016
Crescent City FL 88 10/7/2016
Cocoa FL 87 10/6/2016
Port Saint John FL 87 10/6/2016
Andrews SC 87 10/8/2016
Callahan FL 87 10/7/2016
Soperton GA 86 10/7/2016

Source: CoreLogic 2016

Table 2: Windy City Ranking

Rank

City

State

Number of Wind Events

Max Wind Speed

1 Nashville TN 21 72
2 Reno NV 14 90
3 Jackson MS 21 71
4 Cincinnati OH 16 79
5 Columbia SC 18 67
6 Louisville KY 13 68
7 Little Rock AR 14 70
8 Winston-Salem NC 13 73
9 Clarksville TN 15 70
10 Charleston SC 12 86

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