According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, damaging winds are typically classified as wind exceeding 50 to 60 mph. In South Florida, we call that a typical day at 3:00 pm when the severe thunderstorms roll in. Not only is it still hurricane season, but Florida is also the number one place where thunderstorms most commonly occur year-round. So, it’s imperative that your home has strong and secure doors and windows for all types of wind.
At ASP Windows, our team of experienced contractors understands the importance of a safe, sturdy house, especially in Miami. Being prepared is crucial when it comes to hurricanes and any severe thunderstorm. As such, we’ve outlined the most damaging types of wind and what you should do to prepare.
Straight Line Wind
Straight line wind most commonly occurs during fast-moving thunderstorms and hurricanes. These winds, named for their damage path, are distinct from tornadoes because their destruction lies in a straight line, pushing debris in the same direction that the storm is moving. Tornadoes, however, will scatter the debris in various directions.
Storms that have straight-line winds are destructive and can cause widespread hurricane damage. So, it’s important to secure any objects that can get blown by the wind, especially if your windows and doors are in the direct path of destruction if straight-line wind occurs.
Downdraft wind refers to the direction that the air current is moving—down. They originate at high levels in a thunderstorm and are characterized by the cold, dense air that flows to the ground and spreads outward. Both hurricane wind and tropical storm force wind can have stable or unstable updrafts and downdrafts that influence how severe the storm is. Depending on the conditions, storms containing types of wind like this can cause hail, heavy rain, and tornadoes.
In addition to hail and heavy rain, intense downdrafts can cause straight-line wind damage making those thunderstorms even more intense. Protecting your home before a storm hits is crucial to reduce destruction.
Microburst and Macroburst
Both microburst and macroburst describe the level of intensity of downdraft wind. Damaging winds from microbursts extend up to 2.5 miles and last up to 15 minutes, where damage from macroburst winds exceed 2.5 miles and can last up to 30 minutes. These types of wind are most common in the southeastern region of the United States.
Wind speeds in microburst winds and macroburst winds can reach upwards of 160 miles per hour, but average around 100 mph, thus proving that damaging winds don’t always come from hurricanes or tornadoes. These types of wind are some of the most damaging, which is why impact doors and windows are necessary, as they can withstand these hurricane-force winds.
A derecho is a 240 plus-mile long line of intense, fast-moving, widespread thunderstorms. This type of storm has a very distinct shape, and they are commonly seen in South Florida during the summer. A typical derecho consists of microbursts, macrobursts, and downbursts, making for a string of powerful and devastating storms.
There are different types of derechos based on how potent the storm is, and they can last anywhere from a few hours to days. The impact of this type of wind is similar to those experienced during a hurricane resulting in loss of electricity, fallen trees, and flooding.
Even though hurricane season in Florida lasts about six months, it is still possible for damaging wind from thunderstorms to occur at any time of the year. When you use impact glass for windows and doors, you can rest assured that your house will be safe in any type of wind. Our team at ASP Windows can customize any of our products to fit your home’s needs. Prepare your home today for strong winds tomorrow. Contact us at (844) 311-7767 for a free quote.