Wild weather in New England; hurricane force winds at Mt. Washington



A strong Nor’easter brought snowfall to higher elevations of New England on the weekend of October 22 – 23, 2016. Other parts of southern New England experienced downpours, including thunderstorms, prior to the passage of a cold front associated with the low pressure system. Snow accumulations were reported in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Over a dozen National Weather Service stations measured at least 6 inches of snow.


The intense storm that brought wet snow to parts of northern New England followed by strong winds, also contributed to 49 consecutive hours of wind gusts in excess of 73 mph recorded at Mt. Washington Observatory from early morning on October 23rd to early morning on October 25th. Sustained wind speed of 74 mph is the lower criterion for a Category 1 hurricane as per the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale. Additionally, the station’s instrument measured gusts greater than 90 mph for 21 straight hours. Minimum Category 2 hurricane wind speed of 96 mph and greater were registered 16 different occasions during designated observations.  The anemometer, measuring wind speed, even eclipsed 100 mph in 11 of the hourly observations, with a peak gust at 109 mph.

The NWS station in Mount Washington (KMWN), at 6263 ft. above sea level, is notorious for registering strong winds. The official observatory atop of Mt. Washington holds the U.S. record for fastest wind gust measured at 231 mph on April 12, 1934. It was a world record for nearly 62 years until an automatic weather station in Barrow Island, Australia registered a maximum wind speed of 253 mph, as the center of severe tropical Cyclone Olivia passed nearby, on April 10, 1996.

During the two plus days of hurricane force wind gusts at Mt. Washington Observatory, wind chills ranged from -5°F to -18°F. Despite the recent cold snap, the weather station is experiencing the warmest October on record with an average temperature near 40°F.  The average daily temperature for the month of October at the observatory is 27°F. Historically, the wind speed for this month is 35 mph.



https://www.mountwashington.org/experience-the-weather/observer-comments.aspx (based on October 2016 observer comments)







One thought on “Wild weather in New England; hurricane force winds at Mt. Washington

  1. Pingback: Wild weather in New England; hurricane force winds at Mt. Washington | NJWO Blog

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