The real windy cities

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Hurricane, weather
Tags: , ,

Did the wind take this little rascal down? Oh yes, it did. (KEITH MACKENZIE PHOTO)

Did the wind take this little rascal down? Oh yes, it did. (KEITH MACKENZIE PHOTO)

I’ll be damned. Here I thought all along that Chicago was famous for the nasty winds that sweep through the downtown corridors between the skyscrapers, and then I come across this.

In short, it’s the top 101 windy cities with over 50,000 people in the United States. Here are the top 10:

1.  Brockton, MA (housing, pop. 94,191): 14.3 mph

2.  Framingham, MA (housing, pop. 66,910): 13.6 mph

3.  Amarillo, TX (housing, pop. 185,525): 13.3 mph

4.  Weymouth, MA (housing, pop. 53,988): 13.2 mph

5.  Fort Collins, CO (housing, pop. 129,467): 12.8 mph

6.  Newton, MA (housing, pop. 82,819): 12.7 mph

7.  Waltham, MA (housing, pop. 59,352): 12.6 mph

8.  Loveland, CO (housing, pop. 61,122): 12.6 mph

9.  Quincy, MA (housing, pop. 91,058): 12.5 mph

10.  Greeley, CO (housing, pop. 89,046): 12.5 mph

via Top 101 cities with the highest average wind speeds (population 50,000+).

Look closely. Six – yes, SIX – of the top 10 are in Massachusetts, where I live. Not neighbouring Connecticut, New Hampshire or Maine. Just Massachusetts. And Woburn, Winchester, Stoneham, Melrose and all those towns in my area aren’t included simply because they don’t have 50,000 people, but I’d wager that it’s a safe bet to suggest they’d make the list in a very high place and even in the top 10 as well, judging by some of the other cities that did make the list.

People will now ask me: Is it true? Is Massachusetts as windy as the House of Commons during question period?

Yes, it’s gosh-darned true. It’s pretty windy here. Many are the days where I’m home with our baby son, without car, and I think to myself – well, it’s sunny out, and looks like it’s high time for a walk. So I bundle up the little guy – no easy feat in itself – and get out there.

Just one block into my walk, I often find myself wondering if it was such a smart decision to do this. My face is freezing – no, burning – with wind blasting in my face. When people talk about windchill, this is what they’re talking about. Most of the time, the temperatures here hover around zero – or 32F for those so inclined – and while that’s not so bad, it’s the wind that can really get to you.

Now, I don’t mind, really. I survived three horrendous winters in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the winds coming from the North Atlantic are enough to make you fall to your knees weeping for springtime. But it’s our boy – I can’t subject the little tyke to this kind of climatic torture.

People also will talk about the immense snowstorm that dumped 2-3 feet of snow on the state in the matter of one 24-hour period about 10 days ago. Now that was an impressive storm. What was most impressive was that the snow didn’t seem to come down at all. It would come at you sideways, and then come up your nose, and go flailing about in the sky for several rounds before finally coming to rest on the ground somewhere.

It happened again last weekend – snow didn’t come down but rather was blown about, leading to freakish mounds of snow at one side of the building and nothing but yellow grass at the other side because snow was only pounding down from one direction.

Anyhow, long and short of it is this: It’s very windy here. Is it as blustery as a group of cowboys gathered around a campfire after gorging themselves on baked beans for dinner? The answer is probably yes, if Zdeno Chara was one of them cowboys.

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