The fastest wind speed recorded at ground level (this is important, because it is more or less the wind that humans experience. Faster speeds have been recorded by devices higher in the air, like 318 MPH in 1999 in Oklahoma City from a device 30 feet in the air) was 231 MPH. It was recorded on Mount Washington, New Hampshire in a wild 1934 storm.
You’re talking about on Earth, right? While I know that there are sustained wind speeds of over three hundred miles per hour on Jupiter in the big red eye… we’re a little bit slower here on earth (less mass, less coriolis effect?) — about 301 mph according to wikipedia (plus or minus 20 mph — so that gives you a range of sustianed winds at 281 to 321 mph here on earth during a Tornado in Oklahoma city that occurred in 1999 [according to wikipedia.org, see link]). To put that in perspective, a Level 5 Hurricane only has to reach speeds of 156 mph — so we are talking about winds twice as fast as the most damaging hurricanes — that’s a level 10 windgust!? Not funny. these puppies are power plants — natural killers — and there energy will one day be harnessed! But for now we need better warning systems. Look to mitigation and emergency management for the solutions to these inevitable natural disasters (our’s is a dangerous and powerful world of MOTION! – i.e. EnERGY!
NOTE: This result from wikipedia.org could be bogus… there are always fabricated results. This source says that the fastest wind speed was only 253 mph. <http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=f9350a35-b0ee-426a-801b-59ef357c6d50&headline=Wind+speed+record+has+been+blown+away> and this other source says it’s even less: 231mph!
UPDATE: January 2010
The World Meteorological Organization has verified and concluded that a new non-tornadic wind speed record has been set in Australia. The new record is 408 km/h during Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996.
Answer: The highest recorded wind speed ever measured by an anemometer was recorded at the Mount Washington Observatory on April 12, 1934. The recorded wind speed was 231 mph (372 kmh).
Mt. Washington is a location known for severe weather. Intense cold, heavy fogs, and deep snow makes this location in New Hampshire famous for its weather. Mt. Washington stands at 6288 feet and is the highest peak in the Northeast United States. The mountain is part of the Presidential Range of mountains which includes Mt. Adams and Mt. Eisenhower in the White Mountains. Air is commonly forced over the mountains, making it a prime location for high wind speeds.
Source: The Mount Washington Observatory
So I think it’s safe to say the highest ever wind speed on earth was over 225 mph — but probably less than 300 — but then again who knows… there had to have been a couple times when the wind blew more quickly than that — how fast does the epicenter of a nuclear bomb explode (do we could that as wind?), don’t they reach some ungodly number like 9 million degrees at the center of the radioactive core / center?
If you don’t believe me check out this source — it’s scary what we’ve done (been able to do [ to each other ], will hopefully never do again [ to each other ] if we can learn from our mistakes). <http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/SimonFung.shtml>
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