The windiest place in the USA is in Utah
You can now interactively query the Storm Prediction Center (SPC)’s quality-controlled reports of severe weather (tornadoes, hail, and wind) in Google BigQuery (first 1 TB per month of processing is free). This is one of the NOAA open datasets and is provided through an ongoing public-private collaboration called the NOAA Big Data Project.
Here’s an example of what you can do with this data. What is the windiest place in the United States? You could define “windiest” in many ways, but one reasonable way is to define it as the county that has the most number of severe wind events in any given year.
Let’s write a quick SQL query to do that … go to the BigQuery web console and type in:
windreports AS (
CONCAT(county, ", ", state) AS county,
speed AS windspeed,
timestamp) AS year
MAX(windspeed) AS maxwinds,
COUNT(windspeed) AS numevents
When I ran the above query, I got:
It’s windy there (62 days of severe wind in 2016!), but the 75 mph maximum wind speed is not that bad. Well, fast enough that a headwind will keep your car at a standstill, but you know what I mean …
Change the query to rank by maxwinds instead, and we get:
Now, it seems that things are more interesting, with a mix of hurricane places (TX, LA), mountain states (MT), and the prairies (KS, SD).