An instrument for measuring peak wind speeds under severe environmental conditions is described, comprising an elongated cylinder housed in an outer casing. The cylinder contains a piston attached to a longitudinally movable guided rod having a pressure disk mounted on one projecting end. Wind pressure against the pressure disk depresses the movable rod. When the wind reaches its maximum speed, the rod is locked by a ball clutch mechanism in the position of maximum inward movement. Thereafter maximum wind speed or pressure readings may be taken from calibrated indexing means.