Why New York’s architecture creates wind tunnels

Wind is basically air flowing between areas of high atmospheric pressure to areas of low pressure. When the high and low are in close proximity to each other, the rapid change in pressure results in strong winds. New York City‘s skyscrapers exacerbate the issue with the wind tunnel effect.

“The wind tunnel effect in New York City is basically a situation where air is being converged into a very small space and that leads to stronger winds,” said Steven DiMartino, a meteorologist and the owner NYNJPA Weather. “It’s the same process as if you take hose for water and press down a little bit and that water comes out a little faster.”

DiMartino installs anemometers on certain buildings in Manhattan to measure wind speeds between them.

“We collect that data and we get a better idea of how the wind is flowing around those buildings to give us an idea of where that convergence is happening.”

You may notice that some streets are windier than others. Part of that is due to the wind direction. A northwest wind results in windier avenues and a southwest wind results in windier streets. While winds can be strong between the buildings, once you turn a corner, they can actually double in speed.

“Where you have a convergence of the building set up on the corners that can lead to a funneling of the winds enhancing wind gusts,” DiMartino said.

Our topography and waterways also have an influence. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

Leave a Comment