A: Retractable awnings primarily are for sun protection and should not be left out in windy conditions. However, wind is a very unpredictable force, with a tendency to change direction and speed very quickly. In a wind-tunnel test, which is a very controlled environment, a retractable awning withstood straight-on wind forces at over 35 m.p.h. In “real-life” applications, the general rule of thumb is: If you are comfortable sitting outdoors dining or reading the paper, then it is probably safe to operate your awning. The concern with wind is the uplifting effect on the awning rather than the downward force; therefore the greater the pitch, the more windresistant the unit is.