What is the difference between the terms windy and breezy?

Dear Tom,
What is the difference between the terms windy and breezy?
— Bill Penzel, Arlington Heights

Dear Bill,

While there are no hard-and-fast rules to distinguish between the two terms, breezy is generally used to describe light-moderate winds in pleasant weather, like tropical breezes. The American Meteorological Society’s “Glossary of Meteorology” defines a breeze as a light wind.

We might use breezy to describe a mild day with winds of 12 to 22 mph, while we would use windy for stronger speeds, say 25 to 50 mph. Windy would always be used to describe inclement or stormy conditions. Many people consider breezy a warm-season term, while windy is a term that can be used year-round.