Delaware is very well-known for it being the “First State” since it signed the Constitution in December of 1787. And we are proud of it! However, maybe less so well known is the fact that Delaware is very much a “Wind” state. And recent storms have left me wondering, at least, WHY is Delaware such a windy state? There are some definitive factors.
Factor 1: Geography: Delaware is mostly a flat state, but it’s topography running mostly north to south, allows a tremendous amount of winds from the ocean, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake to converge all over the state. Without any elevation to speak of, Delaware’s highest point is only over 450 feet high, the winds just criss-cross the state at will.
Factor 2: Coastal Plain: Delaware is located in the coastal plain. So, Nor’easter’s , and storms that produce high winds only pound the coast, and inland with more high wind issues that can cost millions of dollars in damage to property and crops.
Factor 3: Straight line winds: Since there are no obstructions except the Appalachian Mountains west of us, during the summer straight line winds reek havoc on the Delaware landscape. Depending on track some do dissolve due to easterly shear winds from the ocean. However, these winds can cause massive outages and damage when they hit.
Factor 4: Coastal Storms: Delaware, on average, gets hit with 30-40 coastal storms a year. And if you get the “every now and then” hurricane track storm, Delaware spends in the billions for sand, snow, and property damage. And if you add in projected winds from a Nor’easter downstate can be anywhere from 60-65MPH. Upstate winds are no slouch either from these storms. However, since we are about 100 miles north of the beaches those winds are lessened to a degree. Yet, still strong enough to bring down trees to cause significant damage.
So, there you have a very “brief” but interesting explanation of why Delaware is such a windy state. And if you bike, like me, you certainly know your going to get help from those winds and when those headwinds make 10 miles feel like 20 :}