Synchrotac Wind Sensor recorded the fastest wind on Earth!

23 years later, the Official Wind World Record is still unbeaten!

A Synchrotac wind-sensor developed by Observator Instruments was capable to measure the Highest Wind Speed on Earth.

But it took almost 14 years for the record to become official!


Today, Synchrotac sensor continues to be the world-reference and is still the only high-wind sensor approved by the Australian Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM) able to measure high wind-gusts in the most extreme conditions.


  • Where was the fastest wind on Earth measured?

  • Why did it take 14 Years to ratify the new world record?

  • What is the strongest wind sensor on Earth?

Looking back on History: Barrow Island, Australia

olivia-varanus-Barrow Island

The World Meteorological Organization established Barrow Island as the location of the Earth’s strongest surface wind, not including

tornado, wind gust at 408 km/h (253 mph). The gust occurred on 10 April 1996, during Severe Tropical Cyclone Olivia and is documented in the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal. The previous record was a 372 km/h (231 mph) gust at Mount Washington, New Hampshire, USA in April 1934.

The automatic weather station owned by Chevron on Barrow Island (Australia), was equipped with a Synchrotac high-wind sensor developed by Observator Instruments. It registered a maximum wind gust of 408 km/h (220 kn; 253 mph; 113 m/s). Despite this extreme wind gust, the average maximum winds near the centre near peak intensity are estimated at category 4 intensity. These extreme gust were not made public during the storm. After the storm, forecasters at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology were made aware of this data but were still suspicious.


Though, 14 years passed until the wind world record became official!


10-Year anniversary of the official wind world record!

Australian Government Bureau Meteorology logo

The wind gust was evaluated by the WMO Evaluation Panel who found that the anemometer was mechanically sound and the gust was within statistical probability and ratified the measurement in 2010. The anemometer was mounted 10 m above ground level (and thus 64 m above sea level). During the cyclone, several extreme gusts of greater than 300 km/h (160 kn; 83 m/s) were recorded, with a maximum 5-minute mean speed of 176 km/h (95 kn; 110 mph; 49 m/s), the extreme gust factor was in the order of 2.27–2.75 times the mean wind speed (data courtesy of Chevron). The pattern and scales of the gusts suggested that a mesovortex was embedded in the already strong eyewall of the cyclone.


Almost 23 years, this one sensor developed by Observator Instruments is still unbeaten


Why choosing Synchrotac sensors?

Wind-Alarms-Australia-SYN-706-High-Wind-Speed Measurement-Systems

Synchrotac is the only high-wind sensor, approved by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Observator Instruments hold a long history of designing sensors working in extreme environment. Synchrotac has become a standard of measurement for its accuracy and reputation. Synchrotac Instruments are also calibrated against official standards.

To record the fastest wind on Earth as an official world record, the instrument was calibrated before and checked shortly after the event to verify the calibration of the Synchrotac sensor.