Our Kansas winds have been fierce, keeping our fire danger high and even causing some damage to property. Starting at the lower end of the spectrum, damage is non-existent. Five to 10 mph winds will rustle some leaves. It is still enough to at least feel it.
While sustained winds at 15 to 25 mph are significantly stronger, we will not notice much of anything hazardous as a result. However, loose debris has a better chance of being kicked up and small trees will begin to sway. You may also hear some occasional whistling from loose doors and windows when winds are closer to 25 mph.
When winds get up to 30 to 45 mph, this is when we typically begin to see wind alerts issued. Whole trees are in motion with twigs and small branches breaking off. If you try walking against the wind, you will be met with some resistance. Drivers will want to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel as they battle stronger gusts.
Roof shingles will get blown off at 50 mph, and more damage could be done if there are projectiles around, such as loose, unsecured items in yards and driveways. Anything at and greater than 58 mph, we start to get into severe thunderstorm strength. Power lines and trees can be taken down, and there will likely be widespread reports of damage.
The next time our winds pick up, use this scale to determine how you need to prepare.
-Meteorologist Ronelle Williams