Windy City Battle: Why Casper Should Have the Title vs Chicago
Anyone that has lived in Casper for any significant amount of time (or follows national weather reports), would know how windy our fair city is.
So why is it that Chicago is often credited with being the United States' official "Windy City"?
There are quite a few different stories, myths and legends on how Chi-town got the nickname. The one that I heard the most (and believed to be true until very recently), was that the city had many politicians that were full of hot air, or blowhards, a la Windy City.
The most obvious reason for the Chi getting the moniker have to do with the freezing gust of air blowing off Lake Michigan, but a cursory search of the windiest cities in the country puts that one to rest.
The story that holds the most weight refers to Chicago's rivalry with Cincinnati back in the late 1800s. It initially started as a battle over the meatpacking trade, but then transformed into a baseball rivalry. The Wikipedia entry on the Windy City nickname states:
Four of the first known citations of "Windy City" are from 1876, all involving Cincinnati:
- Chicago Tribune, April 20, 1876, headline: "The WINDY CITY Jay-Rollers La-Crosse Team Wins Inaugural Game against Cincinnati Nannies."
- The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 9, 1876, headline: "THAT WINDY CITY. Some Freaks of the Last Chicago Tornado."
- The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 13, 1876: "Only the plucky nerve of the eating-house keeper rescued the useful seats from a journey to the Windy City."
- Chicago Tribune, July 2, 1876: "The Cincinnati Enquirer, in common with many other papers, has been waiting with great anxiety for the fulfillment of its prophecy: that the Chicago papers would call the Whites hard names when they lost. Witness these scraps the day after the Whites lost to the Athletics: There comes a wail to us from the Windy City."
Now that we have the Chicago history out of the way, why should Casper get the alias?
There is a very simple answer to this question: our wind speeds! The average wind speed Casper is 12 mile per hour, but that's the average. As you can clearly see from the graph below (from WeatherSpark.com), there were several days in 2022 where speeds were well over 20 mph, and quite a few over 30 mph.
*The daily range of reported wind speeds (gray bars), with maximum gust speeds (red ticks).*
In order to use the name Windy City, one would think your city would need to be windy, by definition. So by that merit alone, Casper should hands down get to use the name.
That is my logic (with weather-related proof), but I'm sure that won't hold up in court. Speaking of court, I wonder if Chicago as ever filed for trademark for the moniker. Maybe that's our way to scoop it up!
One can only hope. Until then, we will still unofficially be the "real" Windy City.