WeatherWise Kids: What’s The Fastest Wind Speed Ever On Earth?

Wind is air in motion. Wind can range from a cooling breeze on a hot summer day…to powerful and damaging winds capable of bringing down trees, blowing over power lines, and even destroying buildings.

For a long time the strongest wind speed ever measured on earth came from the top of Mount Washington, NH, in April of 1934. Winds were clocked at an intense 231 mph!

That record stood for decades before being broken during the peak of Tropical Cyclone Olivia off the west coast of Australia in 1996. Winds reached a devastating 253 mph…officially the fastest ever directly measured on earth.

But can’t winds get even faster inside tornadoes? Winds speeds in monster tornadoes have been estimated over 300 mph in the past by a radar truck called Doppler on Wheels. Such was the case during an Oklahoma F5 tornado in 1999. Winds from the Doppler on Wheels were estimated between 302-318 mph…unofficially the fastest ever on earth. Getting accurate wind speeds inside a tornado is extremely difficult and rarely done because the violent wind would rip the instruments apart.

– WSAV Meteorologist Matt Devitt

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