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Patriot's Day Storm Packs a 156-mph Punch

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH - Today’s Patriot’s Day Storm has brought gusts up to 156 mph and winds equivalent to a category 5 hurricane to the top of Mount Washington. While not common – this is the second time in the past year and only the third time in the past ten years that winds have reached this velocity – it is the direction of the winds that is making Weather Observers jobs very difficult today.

Mount Washington Observatory’s facility, part of Mt. Washington State Park’s Sherman Adams Building, was designed and positioned to bear strong winds from the northwest. Today’s storm is blowing strong from the east, with sustained winds currently around 100 mph.

Weather Observers are having a tough time keeping instruments clear of ice and debris because of the force of the winds against the observatory doors.  According to weather observer Jim Salge, “it is nearly impossible to close the doors to the observatory once we get them open.” Observers continue to have access to the top of the instrument tower, however, accessible via an internal staircase.

The Observatory recently celebrated the history of their record wind on April 12 (an April 12, 1934 gust at 231 mph). Today is a not-so-gentle reminder of the power of wind.

Go to www.mountwashington.org to see video of an exterior door buckling under the powerful easterly winds.

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, member-supported organization with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information visit, MountWashington.org

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