What makes Livingston so windy?

What you might call a windy day, is just a breezy day for folks in Livingston, Montana. On an average day the winds are blowing about 16 mph, but the highest wind ever recorded back in 1978 at 108 mph. 

So what makes Livingston the unofficial wind capital of Montana? Pressure difference. 

Typically low pressure would be located in central Montana with higher pressure to the south. That high pressure can be the result of cold air over Yellowstone National Park. Like water flowing down a mountain, the air flows from the high to the low, and the greater the difference in pressure, the faster the wind. But when it reaches Paradise Valley, the narrow passage between the mountains really accelerates the winds, just like putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose, causing the water to shoot out faster.      

Meteorologist call this a gap flow wind, because the wind flows through the mountain gaps. Folks in Livingston call this just another day of the week.

Livingston resident, Judd Mashaw, said "Of course it's going to be windy, it's Livingston. Unless it's 60 mph or more, you don't really need to report it. We know it's going to be windy. If it's not, let us know immediately."

Recommended for you