Living in Wyoming, we all know it is windy, but when you hear a weather report saying wind gusts up to 75 mph, what does that really mean? Can a 75mph gust knock you off your feet? Can it flip a semi-truck? Will it cause small dogs to fly?

When you start to look at the wind and the potential damage it can do, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off the wind never moves in a straight line. It usually has a circular-type motion. It can draft upwards as well as laterally. The wind is a dynamic force that requires some heavy-duty physics to measure. Not to mention all the "shrapnel" that can accompany the wind.

There are two scales that measure wind. One is the Beaufort Wind Scale which was created to help sailors navigate the sea. The second is the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale. These two scales give us a theoretical perspective on wind force. From that, we created the "Wyoming Wind Scale" (for entertainment purposes only.)

The Wyoming Wind Scale

  • 8-10 mph wind will wave the flag. Most Wyomingites won't feel any wind at all.
  • 13-18 mph wind will blow loose trash out of your car. The lid to your trash can will blow open.
  • 19-24 mph wind could blow dirt in your eye or throw your hat down the street.
  • At 25-31 mph the wind starts to whistle and will make umbrellas useless. Small dogs and squirrels may have difficulty walking. Empty trash cans will have to be retrieved from the neighbor's house. It is a perfect time to go hang gliding or watch trampolines take flight.
  • 32-38 mph wind will shake your car. Semi-trucks should drive with caution. It could move full trash cans to the next neighborhood.
  • 39-41 mph wind could break tree branches and cause small dogs to fly. Birds are smart enough to sit tight.
  • 47-54 mph wind can cause some structural damage. Semi-trucks and high-profile vehicles are in serious risk of tipping.
  • 55-73 mph winds are the point when a Wyomingites says "Boy, it is getting windy out there." Large dogs are at risk of flight and farm animals have problems walking.
  • 72-84 mph wind will knock a person on their butt. It is also is considered a "Hurricane" force wind.
  • 84-112 mph wind can blow cars off the road, and knock trailer homes off their foundation.
  • 113-157 mph wind can make cars fly, uproot trees, and rip the roof of homes like opening a can of beer.
  • 158-206 mph wind could recreate scenes from the movie Twister causing cows to become airborne and make semi-trucks do somersaults.
  • 207-260 mph wind is just crazy. This much wind could recreate the movie Sharknado. In Wyoming, it could make a bisonado.
  • 261-318 mph wind would probably destroy everything in site. It causes cars to fly hundreds of feet. The Fujita Scale reads, "incredible phenomena will occur."

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