Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mt. Washington No Longer The Windiest Place On Earth


For years, Mt. Washington, located in the state of New Hampshire here in the U.S., has been described as the windiest place on Earth, thanks to a 75 year old record for the highest wind speed ever recorded. The mark was set back in 1934, when gusts reached a speed of 231 miles per hour on the summit of the 6,288 foot peak, which is legendary for it's incredibly bad weather.

Now, according to the Adventure Life, that record has been wrestled away from Mt. Washington, and the new crown has been handed over to the Aussies. It seems that when cyclone Olivia hit barrow island back in 1996, it generated winds of 253 miles per hour, smashing those light breezes on Mt. Washington.

Why did it take so long to discover these wind speeds? Apparently a group of scientists were recently combing through weather and climate data, and discovered the mighty wind. Once it was discovered however, the findings were reported to meteorological services, and the new record became recognized, taking a little pride away from those that live on and around Mt. Washington.

Never fear though. The mountain still has plenty to brag about. It is a challenging climb in good weather conditions, and it's notoriously bad winters make it a tough test in the snow. It has even managed to make the list of some of the most dangerous mountains to climb. Not something you'd expect out of a peak that is less than 6300 feet in height.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

By this standard, there are plenty of places throughout the Midwestern US and other places that could lay claim to the title after being hammered by a F5 tornado - the problem isn't that these winds don't exist, but that the measuring equipment cannot withstand them.

scienceguy288 said...

I would think that windspeeds like that would be displayed somewhere a bit more prominently in the data, but I guess not.

Adventure Junkie said...

I was thinking the same thing. Like the computer would automatically flag an exceptionally high number and bring it to the attention of the meteorologist/climatologist.

Evan Moore said...

From what I read elsewhere tornados were the only type of wind that was excluded from the records (for whatever reason). This whole thing is kind of a disappointing way to lose a big source of pride that comes from Mt. Washington and the entire region. That being said, I still think the original record is pretty darn impressive regardless of the new one.

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