It is important to discuss wind speed zones because they can determine the tornado intensities experienced in an area. For example, most of the US Tornado Alley lies in Zone IV ̶ the zone associated with the most extreme weather events.
The intensity and duration of a tornado’s winds determine the scale and extent of the destruction. This information helps determine the appropriate construction standards and requirements to enhance the resilience of buildings and protect human life.
What Are Wind Speed Zones?
In the USA, wind speed zones are categorized based on the maximum expected wind speeds. These zones are defined by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). They range from 85 miles per hour (mph) to 200 mph, with higher wind speeds found in coastal areas prone to hurricanes and tropical storms.
These zones provide a framework for storm shelter contractors to determine the appropriate construction materials, reinforcements, and design features necessary to meet the wind resistance requirements for each zone.
Wind Speed Zones in The USA
Wind zones are categorized by intensity and described below. A map for the zones is also made available by the government.
- Wind Zone I: Areas with the fastest-mile wind speed of not more than 70 mph.
- Wind Zone II: Areas with the fastest-mile wind speed of not more than 100 mph.
- Wind Zone III: Fastest-mile wind speed of not more than 110 mph.
- Wind Zone IV: Fastest-mile wind speed of not more than 250 mph.
Texas is divided into three wind zones: two, three, and four. It is prone to harsh weather during the storm and needs rigid constructions to weather these extreme events.
The Importance Of Installing Storm Shelters In Texas
Texas experiences a high frequency of tornadoes which can form rapidly and cause extensive damage. A storm shelter provides a designated safe space for individuals to seek refuge during a tornado, protecting them from powerful winds and flying debris.
We are a storm shelter contractor that installs tornado shelters in Texas. Our shelters range from above-ground to steel storm shelters to protect Texas homes and families. All our products comply with the FEMA guidelines and can withstand EF5 tornadoes. Reach out to us for a free quote today.