There are places in the world where a windbreaker and headscarf just would not cut it. Places that are frequently whisked and whipped by tremendous, ultra-fast winds. Locations found on the map where levels range from 0 to 12 on the Beaufort scale. From 5 being between 19 to 24 miles per hour, considered to be a fresh breeze.
To 12 being winds registering 72 miles per hour and above or hurricane-force winds. The following are considered the world’s windiest whereabouts, from those that frequently experience extreme wind speeds. To places that have recorded the fastest wind speeds on the planet.
Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
A peninsula that could be found lying between the Faroe Islands and the northern tip of Scotland. This is considered to be the windiest location in the United Kingdom. The islands receive a decently gusty average yearly wind speed of 15 miles per hour. However, it is reported to have experienced more intense gusts of air reaching 173 miles per hour.
It was recorded in 1986 at the Muckle Flugga Lighthouse; however, it is an unofficial record. The device which recorded the wind speed was destroyed shortly after by violent gusts. Shetland, which contains over 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited, typically has the benefit of relatively mild weather. The strongest winds are seen during winter, at times reaching hurricane force speeds in excess of 72mph.
Aviemore, United Kingdom
This is a popular Scottish ski resort town. Extreme gusts hit the snowy summit of Cairngorm Mountain at a brutal 173 miles per hour. This occurred in March of 1986. Cairngorm means Blue Hill, it is expected that exposed extremities would have turned that color on that day.
The top of the mountain is normally pounded by strong blusters, plus there are claims that winds have reached upwards of 194mph. This claim was made in 2008 and would have superseded the 1986 reported speed. However, the wind monitoring device wiped the data without any official reading or prints.
Mount Everest, Nepal & China
This monstrous mountain that has a summit that sits astride the border of Nepal and China is infamous for extremes. It is known as the highest mountain above the level of the sea, it is potentially the most famous mountain on the planet. Reaching the summit at more than 29,000 feet and coming face to face with the impact of the altitude is not an easy feat.
Add in blizzards with wind speeds of up to 175mph and this feat becomes unfeasible. This recorded wind speed falls in the range of category 5 hurricanes, which is classified at 157mph or above. In the winter extreme gusts top speeds in excess of 100mph, with May to September being considered the calmest period. This period is known to be the best for trying to make an ascent.
Kirkwood, United States
Kirkwood Mountain, which is a resort south of Lake Tahoe, set a new state record in February 2020. There was a blustering gust that reached 209mph at the peak of the mountain, which is in excess of 9,000 feet above sea level. The slopes of the mountain which are known for snowboarding and skiing were evacuated due to the storm. This storm hammered regions of southern California up to Oregon and even Washington State. There were waves reaching above five feet in Lake Tahoe which is typically known for calm glassy water surfaces.
Mount Washington, United States
This is a mountain that also goes by the name Agiocochook and held the distinction for the fastest recorded winds for more than sixty years. The staff in the observatory in the mountain recorded a staggering 231mph in April 1934. Mount Washington lays is in the paths of several storms which naturally have a collision with this barrier of nature.
This location is considered to be the windiest location in the United States with average yearly wind speeds of close to 32mph. The average highs are about 46mph during January which is the windiest month. Mount Washington experiences hurricane-force winds more than 100 days out of the year.
Barrow Island, Australia
A manageable 12mph is the average yearly wind speed on Barrow Island. This location is a private oil field and marine park located in Australia’s Pilbara region. This speed is not even worth mentioning for a list such as this. However, the fastest wind speed not linked to a tornado was recorded. It was an eye-watering 254mph which was recorded in April 1996. This extreme speed was whipped up by the cyclone Olivia.
Oklahoma City, United States
Even though Barrow Island has the official record, the fastest wind speed was whipped up in the Bride Creek region of Oklahoma City. This is a section of the United States that is referred to as Tornado Alley. This is due to the fact the tornados hit this area very often. This location registered a glass shattering 302mph during a tornado in May 1999.
The wind speed was recorded with a mobile Doppler radar. It is listed by Guinness World Records as the fastest wind speed. However, it is not official due to the device used to measure the speed. On average the wind speed is a relative 13mph, with April reported as the windiest period during the year.