The Difference Between Strong Winds and Violent Winds: An Explanation with Examples


In recent years, the impact of climate change has led to an increase in severe weather events worldwide. Strong winds and violent winds can significantly impact daily life, but the differences between these meteorological phenomena may not be well-known. In this article, we will provide a clear explanation of the definitions, differences, and specific examples of strong winds and violent winds. By reading this, you will gain a clearer understanding of the risks associated with “strong wind advisories” and “violent wind warnings” when they are issued in weather forecasts.


What are Strong Winds?

Generally, “strong winds” refer to winds with speeds ranging from approximately 10 meters to 20 meters per second (22-44 mph). Within this wind speed range, tree branches may break, and signs may sway, but direct damage to buildings is relatively rare. However, when going outside, hats may be blown away, and cycling can become difficult, affecting daily life.

What are Violent Winds?

On the other hand, “violent winds” refer to winds with speeds exceeding 20 meters per second (44 mph). Under these conditions, significant physical damage can occur. Trees may be uprooted, roofs may be blown off, and windows may shatter. The impact of violent winds tends to be more severe in coastal areas and regions with many high-rise buildings.

Examples of Violent Winds and Strong Winds

For instance, Typhoon Hagibis, which hit Japan in 2019, caused extensive damage over a wide area due to its powerful violent winds. Many houses were damaged, and utility poles were toppled. In contrast, during the spring storms that hit various parts of Japan in 2020, strong winds temporarily raged, causing disruptions to transportation and minor damage to some facilities, but the extensive damage seen during violent winds was not observed.


Strong winds and violent winds are defined by their wind speeds, with violent winds being stronger and having a higher potential to cause significant damage. In daily life, when hearing these terms in weather forecasts, it is essential to understand the associated risks and take appropriate measures. As the impact of climate change may lead to an increase in severe weather events in the future, having accurate knowledge about strong winds and violent winds is crucial for protecting our lives.