Severe Weather Awareness Week: Damaging Winds

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 4:52 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Another element to severe weather are damaging winds. So what are they?

A storm is classified as severe once winds reach at least 58 miles per hour. That’s extremely strong wind and it’s enough to take down trees.

Since damaging winds are the most impactful, they cause the most power outages. Damaging winds need to be taken seriously because they can reach strengths of weak tornadoes.

In terms of property damage, damaging winds knock down trees, and they can fall on homes and cars. We call these straight line winds that come down from a storm.

Damaging winds and weak tornado damage can present similar impacts. You only need 65 mile per winds for an EF-0 tornado to touch down.

You should always take a severe thunderstorm warning just as serious as a tornado because they can be just as deadly. Often times the strongest winds can be ahead of the actual cell or what you might see on radar but you can also have high winds without an impressive looking storm on radar.

This happened in March 2020 in Grant County where a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for damaging winds even though on radar it was just a shower. That warning was confirmed as 60 mph wind gusts occurred in Petersburg.

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