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Old 04-17-2021, 05:23 PM
 
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Banjomike, pls weigh in.....so I abhor sustained wind that blow 5 days out of 7, over say, 12 mph. I have lived in windy locations with near constant wind, beyond a “breeze” for too long.....
In Idaho Falls, using the Beaufort Wind Scale, how many days in a year roughly would IF fall into Force 1 to 3, Force 4 to 5 and Force 6 to 8? I know this may be a challenging ? to ask. I sure would appreciate your thoughts on this.....
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:09 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Lots of snow too?
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:31 PM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
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Idaho is windy, but Idaho Falls and Pocatello are not near the top of the list.

Idaho Average Wind Speed City Rank
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:37 PM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman427 View Post
Lots of snow too?
Eastern Idaho snowfall can be extremely variable, but the latest stats that I can find show an average of about 39 inches in Idaho Falls, and slightly more in Pocatello. That said, Pocatello is slightly warmer than Idaho Falls in the winter.
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Old 04-17-2021, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,280 posts, read 17,635,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schindlerkins View Post
Banjomike, pls weigh in.....so I abhor sustained wind that blow 5 days out of 7, over say, 12 mph. I have lived in windy locations with near constant wind, beyond a “breeze” for too long.....
In Idaho Falls, using the Beaufort Wind Scale, how many days in a year roughly would IF fall into Force 1 to 3, Force 4 to 5 and Force 6 to 8? I know this may be a challenging ? to ask. I sure would appreciate your thoughts on this.....
Sustained winds that last for several days at a time are very unpredictable. There have been years that were windy and years that were calm. Most of the time, there's just enough breeze to ruffle the leaves in late afternoon. 3 mph or less.

The basic reasons why I.F. is windy:

The town is very close to the foothills that lead upward to the Teton range. There's always more air motion close to a mountain range. Idaho Falls is also relatively high. It the town was less exposed and lower, there would be less wind.

There is a general wind formation that comes here most of the time. The prevailing wind comes from the Pacific off S. California, intensifies as it passes over the Arco Desert which acts like a funnel, and then forms a hook when it hits the Teton foothills.
This hook shape can sometimes form a high or low pressure bubble overhead and can circulate until a stronger pressure front breaks it up. Most of the time, the hook will only put a slight spin on the air current which can increase the local velocity a little.

In summer daytime temps can be 90º and nighttime temps 36º. This will cause a breeze as the air heats and cools.

The second is where most of our wind comes from, and what happens on the coast can really affect us a day or two later. If there are strong winds sweeping California, we'll get them later on.

This is generalized, of course. Most of the time, if we have some wind, it will last 1-3 days and then will calm. April is usually windy as is November. Dead calm is rare here, and in a hot summer, we typically have some cyclonic winds forming in the countryside as the hot air rises. These winds are very rare inside the city limits.

I checked out that wind list and found it to be pretty accurate. I haven't visited every city on the list, but Mountain Home, a city I've always found to be windy, was ranked right where I expected it would be.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:39 AM
 
1,044 posts, read 518,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
Idaho is windy, but Idaho Falls and Pocatello are not near the top of the list.

Idaho Average Wind Speed City Rank
The actual numbers cited in this list make NO sense..... This link claims average wind speed is around 20 MPH for the state LOL! I am not even sure this makes sense for the peak wind speed at each location in each day but that is a least closer to what this means; they do not explain their data. It might reflect ranking fairly well, but just don't take these crazy numbers as any indicator of what is real.



Compared to much of WY, ID winds are pretty tame.


FWIW..... I have been trying to understand wind patterns out in the region of eastern ID and western WY and southern MT. You can see the forecasted winds for a few days here, in 6 hour increments:

https://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/idaho.php


I've been watching this site through much of this last winter. The odd thing is that the winds come across generally west to east on the Snake River plain. When the winds get over around the ID Falls area, they seem to split and some flow towards the north to the Island Park area; these flow over the Reynolds Pass area and up the Madison River Valley towards Ennis MT; the winds in that area are predominantly south to north.



The winds also go east/ESE from the IF area and up and over the Tetons, Absorkas, and Wyoming Ranges and then settle down to lower elevations as the reach further east in WY. That seem to be the reason that WY see such windiness in winter: the mid-level winds literally settle down from higher elevations to the ground as they get past the high mountains.


The deep north-south valleys with high mountains on the west side, like Jackson WY and Stanley ID, seem to get the strong winds elevated up and over these valleys and see a lot of calmer days. YOu can set in these valleys on a clam day and see the clouds racing overhead west to east, a few thousand feet about the mountains tops.



So kind of a bottom line overall: In this region, much of the wind speed and direction is determined by local geography; the wind is literally flowing around and over the ground obstacles. IF does not have anything to the west to stop the west-to-east winds, so the general wind direction on the above link is mostly from the west for IF.



OP, where did you live before that was so consistently windy?
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,280 posts, read 17,635,566 times
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You've got the same conclusions I have, nm...
It's geography that controls the winds here.

Mountains act like walls; the winds increase in speed as pressure pushes the air over mountains on one side of the, and that motion up high acts like a vacuum pump on the air down low on the opposite side, causing the wind to move differently.

Places like Raynolds (with an 'a') Pass become very windy because they're the only spots where the air can flow easily.

If a person was traveling south to north on Raynolds, there would be wind. Yet if the same person chose to drive in the same direction less than 20 miles to the east on another road that goes in the same direction, there would be very little wind.

Raynolds is open. No heavy forest, no big rocks or obstructions. When the day is stormy, the winds can be so strong on Raynolds that it might be the best choice to travel, as thawing keeps the highway scoured free of snow. The other road could be getting a foot of snow an hour, as it's all up around 7,000 feet high.

Elevation also plays a big part. And a curious fact is our big mountains create their own weather. One can drive over the Great Divide and encounter entirely different weather on one side from the weather on the other.

The wind here is not like it is on the coast or on the Great Plains. It's not like the Great Lakes midwest, or the Appalaichians of the Eastern Seaboard.

One more thing- climate change is changing our wind patterns drastically. Everything that we all have written here can be tossed in the trash as soon as the winter jet stream starts to wobble over the North Pole, or as soon as California catches fire in the summer when there's another fire here or in one of our neighbors.

We are getting more rain in some places now and less in others too. I can't trust very much of what my father taught me about the weather anymore, and I have a much harder time now trying to figure out my own forecasts with any accuracy.

I guess the bottom line fact about wind and Idaho is now like a lot of other things:
Don't expect anything to stay the same. Stick around and you'll see changes, so don't base long-term plans on what's here today alone.

Everything about the weather here is less predictable than it used to be.
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:51 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
3,433 posts, read 2,336,742 times
Reputation: 1270
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
You've got the same conclusions I have, nm...
It's geography that controls the winds here.

Mountains act like walls; the winds increase in speed as pressure pushes the air over mountains on one side of the, and that motion up high acts like a vacuum pump on the air down low on the opposite side, causing the wind to move differently.

Places like Raynolds (with an 'a') Pass become very windy because they're the only spots where the air can flow easily.

If a person was traveling south to north on Raynolds, there would be wind. Yet if the same person chose to drive in the same direction less than 20 miles to the east on another road that goes in the same direction, there would be very little wind.

Raynolds is open. No heavy forest, no big rocks or obstructions. When the day is stormy, the winds can be so strong on Raynolds that it might be the best choice to travel, as thawing keeps the highway scoured free of snow. The other road could be getting a foot of snow an hour, as it's all up around 7,000 feet high.

Elevation also plays a big part. And a curious fact is our big mountains create their own weather. One can drive over the Great Divide and encounter entirely different weather on one side from the weather on the other.

The wind here is not like it is on the coast or on the Great Plains. It's not like the Great Lakes midwest, or the Appalaichians of the Eastern Seaboard.

One more thing- climate change is changing our wind patterns drastically. Everything that we all have written here can be tossed in the trash as soon as the winter jet stream starts to wobble over the North Pole, or as soon as California catches fire in the summer when there's another fire here or in one of our neighbors.

We are getting more rain in some places now and less in others too. I can't trust very much of what my father taught me about the weather anymore, and I have a much harder time now trying to figure out my own forecasts with any accuracy.

I guess the bottom line fact about wind and Idaho is now like a lot of other things:
Don't expect anything to stay the same. Stick around and you'll see changes, so don't base long-term plans on what's here today alone.

Everything about the weather here is less predictable than it used to be.
This is a very reasonable assessment. Change is always happening.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:23 PM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
7,952 posts, read 5,635,950 times
Reputation: 6785
Deleted

Last edited by pnwguy2; 04-18-2021 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:35 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
3,433 posts, read 2,336,742 times
Reputation: 1270
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Sustained winds that last for several days at a time are very unpredictable. There have been years that were windy and years that were calm. Most of the time, there's just enough breeze to ruffle the leaves in late afternoon. 3 mph or less.

The basic reasons why I.F. is windy:

The town is very close to the foothills that lead upward to the Teton range. There's always more air motion close to a mountain range. Idaho Falls is also relatively high. It the town was less exposed and lower, there would be less wind.

There is a general wind formation that comes here most of the time. The prevailing wind comes from the Pacific off S. California, intensifies as it passes over the Arco Desert which acts like a funnel, and then forms a hook when it hits the Teton foothills.
This hook shape can sometimes form a high or low pressure bubble overhead and can circulate until a stronger pressure front breaks it up. Most of the time, the hook will only put a slight spin on the air current which can increase the local velocity a little.

In summer daytime temps can be 90º and nighttime temps 36º. This will cause a breeze as the air heats and cools.

The second is where most of our wind comes from, and what happens on the coast can really affect us a day or two later. If there are strong winds sweeping California, we'll get them later on.

This is generalized, of course. Most of the time, if we have some wind, it will last 1-3 days and then will calm. April is usually windy as is November. Dead calm is rare here, and in a hot summer, we typically have some cyclonic winds forming in the countryside as the hot air rises. These winds are very rare inside the city limits.

I checked out that wind list and found it to be pretty accurate. I haven't visited every city on the list, but Mountain Home, a city I've always found to be windy, was ranked right where I expected it would be.
Mountain Home has lots of air traffic? - Airport so lots of wind? Is IF hotter than Pokey in the summer and which one between the two has colder winters. I would think that wind in IF keeps the temps down vs. no wind so maybe cooler in IF than Pokey?
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