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Chicago Is Nowhere Close To Being The Windiest City In U.S.

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 17, 2017 4:55PM

Chicago / Getty Images / Photo: Scott Olson

Chicagoans never tire of correcting ignorant transplants and tourists as to the true derivation of the nickname Windy City. Say it with us: it’s because of our hot-air politicians, not anything meteorological. It’s also a literally windy city, of course, but not as much as you probably think. Like, not even close.

For the second consecutive year, Chicago didn’t even rank among the top ten in terms of windiest cities (again this is winds as in air gusts, not political-bloviating ones), according to CoreLogic.

The weather-wise windiest? Nashville. The Tennessee city had the most “strong wind events” (21) and highest cumulative force of wind speed among U.S. cities in 2016, CoreLogic found. Chicago didn’t rank in terms of single worst episode either, despite how some of those December winter lake-effect wind chills felt. The coast of Florida, facing Hurricane Matthew in October, faced brutal wind speeds around 100 mph.

The windiest cities, by rank, were:

1) Nashville
2) Reno
3) Jackson, Mississippi
4) Cincinnati
5) Columbia, South Carolina
6) Louisville, Kentucky
7) Little Rock, Arkansas
8) Winston-Salem, North Carolina
9) Clarksville, Tennessee
10) Charleston, South Carolina

As for the actual meaning behind Chicago’s Windy City nickname, well, we might have to take some air from that sail, too. The origin is generally attributed to Charles A. Dana, a long-serving editor of the New York Sun, between 1833 and 1950, who wrote an editorial presciently characterizing Chicago politicians as full-of-hot-air windbags—despite the fact that no one can locate the editorial or even its date of publication. Maybe that reputation is a fiction, too. Doesn’t feel like it.

[H/T USA Today]