Welcome to good old Bismarck, North Dakota.  We are currently under a high wind warning issued for western and central North Dakota.  It started late last night and is expected to last until 6:00 pm today.  Here is the official statement issued by the National Weather Service:

High Wind Warning western and central North Dakota through Thursday afternoon.

Very strong northwest winds sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 70 mph will continue across western and central North Dakota into the afternoon.

Scattered snow showers accompanying the very strong winds will result in reduced visibilities of around one quarter mile at times. Hazardous travel can be expected today.

High Wind Warning remains in effect until 6 pm CST /5 pm mst/ this evening.

  • Timing: through Thursday afternoon.
  • Winds: sustained northwest winds to 45 mph with gusts to 70 mph.
  • Impacts: dangerous outdoor working conditions. Possible damage to property. Travel will be hazardous

Recommended actions

A High Wind Warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or is occurring. Sustained winds of at least 40 mph, and/or gusts of 58 mph or higher is expected. Be sure to secure patio furniture, garbage cans, and other loose outdoor items as they could become projectiles and could cause property damage.

What is a High Wind Warning?

Wind speeds forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria in the next 12 to 48 hours. (Typical values are sustained wind speeds of 40 mph or greater lasting for 1 hour or longer, or winds of 58 mph or greater for any duration).

To give you some idea of the type of wind that I am talking about, here is some current conditions at 9:00 am cst. January 16, 2014

Location:  Bismarck

Conditions:   Light snow

Temperature:  17 degrees above zero

Dewpoint:  9 degrees above zero

Relative Humidity:   70 %

Wind:  Out of the north at 31 mph, with gusts to 52 mph

Wind Chill:  -3 degrees below zero

Highest wind gust recorded: 61 mph at 12:30 am this morning

Now I have always thought that my hometown is very breeze to say the least, but to my surprise; we are not even in the top 100 most windiest cities in the United States.  Of cities that are around me, that did make the list…see the following:

23.  Fargo, North Dakota (population 90,056) average daily wind speed of 12.3 mph

73.  Billings, Montana (population 100,148) average daily wind speed of 11.2 mph

74.  Rapid City, South Dakota (population 62,715) average daily wind speed of 11.2 mph

84.  Sioux Falls, South Dakota (population 142,396) average daily wind speed of 11.0 mph

86.  Duluth, Minnesota (population 84,167) average daily wind speed of 11.0 mph

Note: as a comparison, Brockton, Massachusetts (population 94,191) was highest with a daily wind speed of 14.3 mph.

So, if you live here, hold on to your hat, because it is blowing like mad outside and has been howling all night.  The older I get, the more that I hate living in North Dakota.

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