Wind Factor Terminology

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Understand the meaning of commonly used terms on Wind Factor.

Wind risk overview

First Street Foundation Wind Model (FSF-WM): The First Street Foundation Wind Model is a geospatially-varying wind methodology, which means it considers how a location’s likely exposure to high-speed winds is affected by climate change’s impacts. These impacts are related to forecast changes in hurricane intensities and their tracks as well as the property’s characteristics and use that information to assess the likely damages that would result from a property’s exposure to extreme wind.   

Wind Factor: A property's Wind Factor indicates its comprehensive risk from high winds over the next 30 years, ranging from 1 (minimal) to 10 (extreme). This score is taking into account risk from hurricane (cyclone) events, tornadoes, tropical storms, and severe wind events. Properties with higher Wind Factors are more likely to experience high winds. 

Risk of tropical storm winds: The chart in the overview section on a property page report shows the property's likelihood of being in a tropical storm event with 3-second wind gusts exceeding 50 mph over the next 30 years. The property may be at risk of higher wind speed events with lower likelihood.

You can be proactive in preparing for and managing risk by learning about wind solutions

Current and future risk

1-in-3000-year event: This type of event has a likelihood of occurring once every 3000 years and has the capability to bring higher wind speeds than a more likely event.

3-second wind gusts: 3-second wind gusts are what can most often cause damage to buildings and are generally 1.28 times faster than a 1-min sustained wind speed.

1-min sustained winds: The intensity of a tropical cyclone or hurricane is typically measured by its 1-minute sustained wind speed. While they are measured in this way, damages can often occur by stronger shorter wind gusts.

Estimated wind damages

Building height: The number of stories of the building on the property. Taller buildings can be more susceptible to damage.

Roof material: The construction material used for the roof of the building. Different types of roofs have different levels of protection from severe winds. 

Building Face Direction: The wind damage varies based on the predominant angle between the oncoming wind and the orientation of the building and rooftop.

Risk of Damage: This denotes if the property is likely to sustain damage and associated repair costs based on its building characteristics and vulnerability to the high wind speeds it could incur. You can edit building characteristics and see damage scenarios on the Wind Damages page.

Wind Gust Direction: Refers to the predominant direction that strong wind gusts typically reach the property.


The Fujita Scale (F Scale): The F Scale was developed based on damage intensity and not wind speed; 3-second wind speed ranges given are estimated, based on the extent of observed damage.

  • EF0: Winds of 40-72 mph
  • EF1: Winds of 73-112 mph 
  • EF2: Winds of 113-157 mph
  • EF3: Winds of 158-206 mph 
  • EF4: Winds of 207-260 mph
  • EF5: Winds of 261-318 mph

The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale): The EF Scale was revised from the original Fujita Scale. The EF scale still is a set of 3-second wind gust estimates (not measurements) based on damage.

  • EF0: Winds of 65-85 mph
  • EF1: Winds of 86-110 mph 
  • EF2: Winds of 111-135 mph
  • EF3: Winds of 136-165 mph 
  • EF4: Winds of 166-200 mph
  • EF5: Winds exceeding 200 

Historic and community risk

Historic wind speed: Historic event wind speed information comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  It includes hurricanes and tropical storms from 1851-2022. 

Community risk: All properties have some exposure to wind risk. Community wind risk is based on the level of risk to these properties, not the proportion of these properties at risk. 


CMIP6: Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 6

GCM: Global Climate Models

CONUS: Contiguous United States

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

SPC: Storm Prediction Center

SSP: Shared Socioeconomic Pathway

USGS: U.S. Geological Survey

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