Most folks know that Chicago gained the Windy City nickname, not because of the weather but the blowhard tendencies of its citizens. But there may be something to that other connotation of "windy" when it comes to the Great Lakes region. This eye-opening map shows that the lakes are the windiest places in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

The Great Lakes are often referred to as inland seas as their large basins

The map of wind speeds across America comes from VisualCapitalist which took a look at average speeds across the entire country and shared on Facebook by the American Geological Society.

While wind really rollicks up across the lakes - the map legend places the lakes' wind speeds just shy of 20 mph in most places - the truly windy region of the country is the Great Plains. The wide-open spaces stretching from about Amarillo, Texas to north of the North Dakota border show intense winds across the entire midsection of the continent. VisualCapitalist notes

the concentration of high wind speeds in the Great Plains (known as the Prairies in Canada), which has the greatest potential for wind power. You can also follow westerly winds traveling through the North American Cordillera of mountains, including the Rocky Mountains and Cascades.

See the entire map here.

Looking across Michigan, it's easy to see the lower elevations that allow more wind to move across the Lower Peninsula roughly from Grand Haven-Muskegon clear across to Saginaw Bay.

In the western Upper Peninsula notice how the higher elevations of geographic features like the Porcupine Mountains block much of Lake Superior's intense winds.

When you're ready to set off to explore Michigan, no matter the wind, check out these roadtrip worthy spots to seek out:

50 of Michigan's "Must-Drive" Roads

Gas up the car, grab those road munchies and a roadtrip partner that you can trust, and head out on some of Michigan's most unique roads and routes. Make sure you take lots of photos and video!

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