World-record wind speed confirmed

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scientists at the World Meteorological Organization confirmed this week that Cyclone Olivia in April 1996 produced gusts clocking in at 253.5 mph (408 km/h), the highest non-tornadic winds ever recorded.

The gust, recorded at Barrow Island, Australia, shattered the previous record of 231 mph (372 km/h), set on Mount Washington in the United States in April 1934. However, this record stands for the western and northern hemispheres.

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

Olivia caused extensive damage in Australia as it moved across the continent in a northwest–southeast direction.