Watch (and listen): Mt. Washington observatory hits 133 mph gust
MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (KOMO) -- It's known as the windiest place in North America (sorry, Chicago) and New Hampshire's Mt. Washington didn't disappoint when a huge wind storm swept through New England on Sunday evening.
The anemometer atop the observatory at 6,288 feet recorded a wind gust of 133 mph around 3 a.m. Monday morning.
What does 133 mph winds look and sound like? Three of the observation staff members (including two interns getting the weather experience of their lives) ventured out to give us a peek:
Extreme wind speeds are nothing new at Mt. Washington, which for a long time was considered the World Record holder for strongest surface wind recorded on Earth: 231 mph recorded on April 12, 1934. It has since been topped by an unmanned instrument clocking a 256 mph gust on Australia's Barrow Island during Typhoon Olivia in 1996. But Mt. Washington's gust was clocked by observers, and their observatory's web site gives the amazing tale of how their crew managed that feat.
This past weekend's storm ended up knocking out power to about 1.5 million across New England.
It's too bad the storm had to hit in the middle of the night, because during a storm last year, observers got to show off the extreme winds a bit more. This was filmed at a paltry 109 mph:
Northwest peaks can compete on these wind levels
While getting to 200+ mph will likely never happen around here, getting over 100 mph -- even into the 130s -- has been achieved.
During a wind storm in December, Washington's Mission Ridge hit a gust of 137 mph (at 6,730 feet -- so not too much higher than Mount Washington) while White Pass hit 119 mph and Crystal Mountain hit 107 mph.
Even in our most recent wind event in October, which had typical 40-50 mph gusts in the Puget Sound region, Chinook Pass hit 101 mph and Crystal Mountain registered a gust of 90 mph. Those observation stations aren't manned so only the brave animals nearby know what it's like during those extreme events.
And down here in the lowlands, Oregon's Crown Point along the Columbia Gorge can sometimes register gusts over 100 mph during extreme east wind events in the winter: