Saturday's windstorm: not all that unusual
The study takes things even further by analyzing high wind events that classify as catastrophes. Catastrophes are defined as a natural phenomenon that causes at least $1 million in damage. Once again, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio rank highly. Each of the four states saw at least 13 high wind catastrophe events between 1972 and 2006, putting each of them in the top-13 in the country.These catastrophic wind events occur once every 2-3 years, on average, here in Indiana and Michigan. As shown above, the less-severe high wind events occur much more often; roughly 20 times per year. It's important to remember that not all windstorms impact a state in its entirety like the one we saw on Saturday. In fact, many of the windstorms that occur in the Great Lakes are localized events that affect a handful of counties. Regardless of the size of any given high wind event, they are significantly more likely during the late fall and winter months. So, yes, Saturday's event was a little unusual in the sense that it happened early in the fall. It was not unusual, though, in the sense that this part of the United States sees plenty of high wind events from strong low pressure systems each year.