High winds can occur during a severe thunderstorm, a strong weather system, or flow down a mountain. Here are some key wind facts:

  • Wind gusts of 40-50mph can cause isolated damage, with more severe damages as the wind speed increases. 
  • Straight-line winds is a term used from damaging winds that are not brought on by a tornado.
  • Damage from severe thunderstorms is more common than damage from tornados.
    • Wind speeds can reach up to 100mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles. 
    • Wind can reach hurrican level speeds, without the presence of a hurricane. 


  • Monitor the National Weather Service for wind advisories, watches, and warnings.
  • Avoid being outdoors during a wind advisory or high wind warning.
  • If you are outside during high winds:
    • Take cover next to building or under shelter.
    • Use handrails where available.
    • Watch for flying debris, including tree limbs/branches and unstable signs.
  • If you are driving:
    • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
    • Watch for objects blowing across the road.
    • Keep a safe distance from other cars.
    • If winds are too severe to effectively control your vehicle, pull off the road away from trees.