Publications Search - Publication Abstract, Illinois State Water Survey

Publication Abstract

Climatology of High Damaging Wind in Illinois Changnon, Stanley A., Jr., 1980  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS RI-95    Full Text Available

High winds (in excess of 40 mph) of a non-tornadic origin are a major weather hazard in Illinois, producing more property loss than any other weather hazard and the third greatest weather loss to crops, in all 23% of total property/crop losses due to severe weather. They cause an average of one death per year. High winds data are also important in structural design and wind energy considerations. Although there is a lack of definitive data, historical data from 43 cooperative substations and 6 first order stations, plus recent wind sensor data from two (short-period) dense networks and a 10-year sample of recorded wind speed data at one location, were used to develop basic climatological information on high winds in Illinois. The study treats spatial and temporal variations in both averages and extremes to dimensionalize the incidence of days with high winds. Damaging straight line winds peak in the spring and are least frequent in early fall. Summer thunderstorms are the major producers of high winds, but in all other seasons deep low center passages are the major cause. High winds are most frequent in southern Illinois, but more of the extreme events (in excess of 90 mph) occur in northern Illinois. The state has an average of 67 days of high winds a year. Outbreaks tend to cover from 300 to 6000 square miles and are more extensive during the colder half year. High wind events in summer are short-lived, typically less than 5 minutes, but in other seasons last longer having spans of 2 to 4 hours with intermittent gusts.

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr
Champaign, IL 61820-7463

Terms of use. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments.

© 2018 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
For permissions information, contact the Illinois State Water Survey.
Site Map