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Don’t blame the Ben Franklin statue — Boston is one of windiest cities in US

CITY OF BOSTON

It’s hard to blame a guy for finally falling down after standing completely still outside for 160 years in one of the windiest cities in the country.

On Sunday, amid strong gusts, an 1856 statue of Ben Franklin toppled backward off its perch along the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston.

The incident serves as a reminder of just how consistently windy Boston is.

The Weather Channel sifted through the data on average annual wind speed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to rank the 10 windiest cities in the United States, excluding places with fewer than 100,000 people.

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Boston ranked fourth, with an average annual wind speed of 12.3 miles per hour.

Amarillo, Texas, ranked the windiest, with an average annual wind speed of 13.6 miles per hour, followed by Rochester, Minn., at 12.6, and Lubbock, Texas, at 12.4.

Other less-populated spots in New England are even windier, according to NOAA.

The Blue Hill weather observatory in Milton has an average wind speed of 15.2 miles per hour, second nationally to the average speeds of 35.1 miles per hour recorded atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire .

What about the so-called Windy City?

There’s some debate over whether Chicago got that nickname because the city can get breezy or if the moniker was meant as a reference to lengthy speeches politicians would give at conventions hosted there.

Regardless, Chicago’s average wind speed is about 10.3 miles per hour, which didn’t crack the top 10 of the ranking by the Weather Channel.


Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@
globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele