Kansas winds can range from being barely noticeable to extreme gusts for days. It is important to gauge and have an idea of what different wind speeds do because they can lead to loss of property and even loss of life.
You may not bat an eye at 5 to 10 mph winds. Some leaves rustle up. Flags move a little and small twigs will likely move unnoticed by most of us on a typical Kansas day. Once we get up to 15 to 25 mph winds, this is when you will likely notice more impacts like leaves and dead branches falling from trees. Light lawn furniture can be moved closer to 25 mph.
If your trash bin is left out on a windy day, you might find it in your neighbor’s yard or down the street when winds approach 30 to 45 mph. Anybody driving high profile vehicles will need to use extra caution. Potential damage to power lines and small structures are also possible.
Once winds exceed 50 mph, impacts are more significant. You may have many small twigs and branches littering your yard. Roof shingles may get blown off. Depending on the size off the roof may mean a call to your insurance company or a trip to the home improvement store. You will want to avoid having your car near small trees when winds are expected to approach 60 mph because trees can be uprooted and blown over.
Winds in excess of 60 mph are considered severe thunderstorm criteria. Winds stronger than 74 mph is hurricane strength. It is important to monitor the KSN Storm Track 3 Forecast closely when winds this strong are possible. A small mobile home or RV can easily be overturned in these strong winds. You will want to consider seeking sturdy shelter. If these structures can be moved by winds this strong, a normal size car can just as easily be moved, even while in motion, on the road.
Use this scale to your advantage and prepare for approaching strong winds across the Central High Plains.
-Meteorologist Ronelle Williams