Reporter goes in wind tunnel to find out what ‘wind speeds’ actually mean

Simulating hurricane-force winds

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The impact from Florence will be felt the worst during the weekend and the winds will play a major role in what happens.

We hear meteorologists talk about wind speeds, but what does that actually mean?

WBTV visited A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville to get a look at the impact these winds could have.

“The whole idea is to be prepared and not underestimate what the wind can do,” said Gary Eaker, the owner and designer of the A2 Wind Tunnel.

WBTV's Ben Williamson was able to stand during 20 mile per hour winds, but WBTV meteorologists suggest we could have gusts of up to 50 mph or more. As the winds increased, it became harder and harder to stand.

RAW VIDEO: Wind tunnel at 30 mph

“I very steady wind, which you never see outdoors, is much easier to lean into than a gusty wind. Which can knock you over,” said Eaker

At 25 mph winds, chairs, lawn equipment went flying down the tunnel.

“So, even if something isn’t terribly heavy. It if it has a lot of area, it can pick it up and throw it across the yard it can damage people or property,” said Eaker.

Eaker warns that little things you may not think about become projectiles that can do damage.

This weekend, the WBTV weather team says we should expect gusts of wind and not necessarily sustained winds like demonstrated by the tunnel, but it is a good reminder about the damage that can be done.

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