Days after a violent and deadly tornado outbreak, the U.S. experienced another severe weather day yesterday as a significant wind event unfolded; the wind was so significant that records were actually broken.
According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, the December 15 severe weather event included 17 severe hail events, 19 tornadoes, and 431 severe wind reports. Within those 431 severe wind reports, there were 55 significant wind events reported; these events have winds greater than 75 mph which are as strong as Category 1 hurricane winds on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, yesterday represented the most significant wind gusts in a day since at least 2004. There is no such data capture from events prior to 2004. Yesterday’s 55 severe wind events exceeded the previous record of 53 set on August 20, 2020. Other records include 44 on June 6, 2020, 37 on June 29, 2012, 30 on June 14, 2014, and a tie of 23 events recorded on June 30, 2014, June 16, 2017, and June 10, 21. As one can see, most severe wind events occur in June.
While there’s a risk of severe thunderstorms across the mid Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys, the threat of damaging winds and violent tornadoes isn’t as high as it was yesterday or what it was last Friday/Saturday.