Highest Thunderstorm Windspeed...

Feb 8, 2004
Detroit, MI
Whats the higest windgust a thunderstorm ever produced? Grand Rapids, MI has had 130 mph gust before... so I imagine Tornado alley could surpass that!

What's the highest on record?
Whats the higest windgust a thunderstorm ever produced? Grand Rapids, MI has had 130 mph gust before... so I imagine Tornado alley could surpass that!

What's the highest on record?

During the Columbus Day storm of 1962, the NOAA National Weather Service recorded sustained wind speeds peaking along the Oregon coast at 150 miles per hour. Gusts up to 179 mph were also reported. Federal forecasters are certain more high wind reports were not recorded because peak winds likely occurred after the power was knocked out.
----> http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories/s1054.htm

Highest I've seen/heard from any storms I was one is ~120mph, which occurred with an intense bow echo / beginning derecho that moved across mainly the southern parts of the Twin Cities (MN) metro area. The NWS-estimated winds of 110-120mph about 1 mile from my house impressive... Before this event, and since, we've NEVER lost a tree or large branch from my yard (we live in a semi-forest area). That day, however, we lost two small trees, so I knew something big was happening LOL...

Oh yes, I think that day was May 30th, 1998 -- "The Southern Great Lakes Derecho fo May 30-31 1998" ----> http://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/c...-311998page.htm
My highest winds I ever actually witnessed was in Central Indiana on May 30 this year. Incredible 100+ mph straight-lines hit us. Awesome! :D
I was living ( at the tender age of) in Albany, OR, when the Columbus Day Storm struck. My earliest conscious memory is of my dad and a neighbor out in the wind trying to board up a window. Perhaps that is where I got my weather jones from.

About 12 miles fromy my house, the Corvallis airport recorded a 127 mph wind gust, before their power died.
The Grand Rapids wind speed of 130 mph, was not a actual measurement and it was estimated winds that occurred in the Walker area, from doing a damage survey, when the May 31 1998 derecho went throught the area.

besides that 165mph gust in the tornadocane, the highest I had heard of was around 150mph in a derecho in MN or WI in the 70s. that would be something to feel a gust of wind like that.
I found this on one of the NWS offices web site.

Wind speeds above 120 mph in downbursts are not that uncommon. In 1995, downburst winds were clocked at 136 mph at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana, with some estimates as high as 140 mph in Miami County, Indiana. Just five minutes after President Reagan landed in Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C. the highest recorded thunderstorm microburst wind ever clocked--gusts of 149.5 mph--struck there, causing considerable damage.
From another NWS site:
In August, 1983, the strongest microburst recorded at an airport was observed at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC. The winds speeds may have exceeded 150 MPH in this microburst.
The peak gust was recorded at 211 PM - 7 minutes after Air Force One, with the President on board, landed on the same runway as the microburst was recorded!

It's hard to say because some of the "hot film" anemometers used for measurements (particularly at military sites) have been known to read outrageously high when strong winds and extremely heavy rain occur at the same time. There have been some reliable recent measurements in the 50-60 m/s range (115-134 mph).
The supercell near Lesley, TX on May 5, 2002 (the same storm that produced the Happy, TX tornadoes earlier that evening) produced an RFD well in excess of 100mph, with gusts up to 125mph (estimated). I can't confirm the exact number, but I know the winds were well over 100mph. However much wind it takes to push a vehicle across asphalt and lift its rear wheels is how fast the winds were. I've never experienced anything even close to those winds before or since.

As far as highest wind I've heard of period, that would be 150mph. Possibly the same storm/source as the Airforce One story.