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Info note No.58

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World Record Wind Gust: 408 km/h

Geneva, 22 January 2010 (WMO) - According to a recent review conducted by a panel of experts in charge of global weather and climate extremes within the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl) the record of wind gusts not related to tornados registered to date is 408 km/h during Tropical Cyclone Olivia on 10 April 1996 at Barrow Island, Australia. The previous record was of 372 km/h, registered in April 1934 across the summit of Mount Washington, USA.

The Panel consisted of the following experts: Dr Pierre Bessemoulin, MeteoFrance and President of CCl; Dr Tom Peterson, NOAA National Climatic Data Center; Dr Blair Trewin, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Dr Jose M. Rubiera Torres, Cuban Instituto de Meteorología; Dr John (Jack) Beven, USA National Hurricane Center; Dr John King, British Antarctic Survey; Dr Randy Cerveny, Arizona State University and CCl Rapporteur of Climate Extremes.

The panel came to its conclusion after an extensive review and evaluation of instrumental, phenomenological and statistical data.

The WMO Commission for Climatology provides more information about Global Weather and Climate Extremes at:

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are different terms for the same weather phenomenon which is accompanied by torrential rain and maximum sustained wind speeds exceeding119 kilometers per hour. A hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds exceeding 249 km/h is referred to as Category 5. More information in WMO fact sheet.


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