A climatology of high‐wind events for the eastern United States


Geography and Anthropology

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This study examines the spatial and temporal characteristics of high‐wind events (HWEs) based on the National Weather Service high‐wind criteria for 391 first‐order weather stations in the eastern United States from 1973 to 2015. A geographical analysis on the frequency of sustained and gust HWEs shows that the highest occurrences were reported in the Great Plains and Great Lakes, while the lowest number of observations occurred in the Mid‐South and Southeast. Linear trends show that the yearly frequency of sustained and gust HWEs are significantly decreasing (−0.579 days/year) and increasing (0.943 days/year) respectively during the 43‐year study period. These trends do not persist when the HWE data are normalized (long‐term mean is removed from the yearly count), but shows a cyclical anomaly pattern for both sustained and gust winds. Overall, 90 and 82% of all sustained and gust HWEs occur from the northwest or southwest quadrant, but when interpreted from a spatial perspective the mean wind direction of HWEs can be classified into specific regional wind groupings. However, this persistent southwesterly wind direction has gradually shifted to a more southerly (northerly) orientation for sustained (gust) HWEs over the study period.

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International Journal of Climatology

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