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Top Windiest and Stormiest Cities and Towns in Michigan

Here are the top 20 windiest cities and towns in Michigan. This includes average wind speed and thunderstorm winds. You'll also see the potential wind impact on your home.

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Michigan averages 30 days of thunderstorm activity annually. Tornadoes are all too common along the southern border, averaging 17 per year.

In this article, we’ll look specifically at average wind speed followed by thunderstorm wind speeds and their impact on your home.

Windiest Cities and Towns in Michigan: Average Wind Speed

We’ve reviewed the average wind speed information at City-Data to find the top 20 cities in Michigan for the highest average wind speed. We’ve chosen only those cities with populations of 6,000 or more.

1Norton Shores  10.6
2Muskegon Heights10.6
3Grand Haven10.6
7Highland Park10.3
8Grosse Pointe Park   10.3
9Huntington Woods 10.3
11Harper Woods   10.3
14Grosse Pointe Farms 10.3
15Center Line 10.3
17Mount Clemens10.3
19Grosse Pointe Woods10.3
20Oak Park 10.3

Windiest Cities and Towns in Michigan: Thunderstorm Winds

Average wind speed can tell us quite a bit about local conditions, but thunderstorm winds can really show what can happen with high winds in Michigan. 

We’ve reviewed NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s Storm Events Database. In the range of Nov. 1, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2020, they identified 68 places affected by thunderstorm winds. 

Here are the top 20 ranked by recorded wind speed. Note that duplicate listings of the same town or same thunderstorm at a lower wind speed have been omitted from our ranking.

1Forest Dunes, Van Buren County  87
2Hisula, Houghton County83
3Pequaming, Baraga County83
4Zeba, Baraga County 75
5Crystal Falls, Iron County74
6Ravenna, Muskegon County70
7Alston, Houghton County 70
8Pelkie, Baraga County70
9Basswood, Iron County70
10Grandville Airport, Kent County65
11Ewen, Ontonagon County 65
12Gibbs, Iron County65
13Baraga, Baraga County65
14Graafschap, Allegan County   63
15Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County 62
16Kellogg Airport, Calhoun County61
17Lanse, Baraga County61
18Gotts Corners, Huron County61
19Tri-City Airport, Saginaw County 60
20Fawn River, St. Joseph County 60

The top listed wind speed of 87 mph at Forest Dunes on June 26, 2020, caused $1 million in property damage across a wide area. The severe thunderstorm downburst brought down a number of trees as well as garages and outbuildings.

Property damage in Basswood on Aug. 9, 2020, amounted to $150,000 with at least 100 trees down, damaging homes around Golden Lake in Iron County.

Winds in Our Hometowns

We’ve dug slightly deeper into the average storm winds for the locations in Michigan where we have offices.

Average winds in Grand Rapids are 9.8 mph. That’s down a bit from the top-ranked city at 10.6 mph. In Kent County, the storm on June 10, 2020, saw winds of 65 mph with $100,000 in property damage, as well as downed trees and power lines.

The Detroit area’s wind average is 10.3 mph. Wayne County saw winds of 55 mph during a thunderstorm on June 26, 2020. That brought down the usual trees and power lines.

Traverse City’s average is 8.7 mph. A thunderstorm on June 10, 2020, brought high winds up to 54 mph with trees down and flooding.

Impact on Your Home from Winds and Storms 

The National Weather Service has built a wind estimation scale designed to provide observers with a way to judge wind speed. Here are the details.

wind speed gauges possible damage

As you can tell, strong winds can do a great deal of damage to trees, utility lines, signs, and homes. Plus, the flying debris can cause still further damage. That’s been readily apparent with the thunderstorms throughout Michigan.

We’re hopeful that high winds won’t damage your home’s foundation. Even so, rainwater driven by wind can find its way into your basement or crawl space if there are any cracks or if the water accumulates around your home.

We recommend that you consult the professionals at Foundation Systems of Michigan for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your basement or crawl space that need attention in preparation for heavy rains and flooding.

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Proudly Serving Northern, Central and Southeastern Michigan & Northern Ohio

Grand Rapids Office

5985 Clay Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Livonia Headquarters

32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Traverse City Office

3805 Elmers Industrial Drive
Traverse City, MI 49685