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Where the wind comes sweeping. . . .

 

Goodness, has it ever been windy in this area!  (Let's keep our fingers crossed these winds will bring much-needed, beneficial rains.)  As everyone knows who lives in northwest Oklahoma and the surrounding environs, this is windy, often blustery, country, the calm days being the exception to the rule.  When it's not storming, a typical windy day features sustained winds in excess of 25 mph, with gusts above 40.  But when compared to the surface winds that took place on New Hampshire's Mount Washington on April 12, 1934, our windy days are small potatoes!

 

Atop the mountain, Mount Washington Observatory had been established two years earlier, in 1932, to measure the severity of winters in that area.  Accordingly the observation station was still staffed in April of 1934, as most winters at that elevation in that region last until May.  During that time the area became sandwiched between a low pressure ridge moving in from the west, and a huge ridge of high pressure to the north and east, creating an extremely tight pressure gradient.  Winds in excess of 100 mph began blowing on April 11th; by the afternoon of the 12th the wind speed had reached an amazing 231 mph out of the southeast!  This would prove to be the highest natural surface wind velocity ever recorded by means of an anemometer, anywhere in the world. 

 

Let's hope there are no 230 mph winds in store for this area, but it's always a good idea to minimize risks for damage during prolonged windy periods.  Tree limbs are an obvious culprit for damage, with limbs crashing down to damage roofs, vehicles, and fences.  This is a good time of year to trim trees with long, extended branches--particularly if those branches extend over your neighbor's property.  Is your yard fenced?  If you have fence panels that have worked loose from battering winds, be sure to repair and reinforce those panels; otherwise you run the risk of having the whole fence come down!  Light lawn furniture can become airborn during particularly windy stretches; be sure these objects are safely stored away.  In northwest Oklahoma the wind does come sweeping down the plain; let's all make sure that when it does, the damage is minimal!

 

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