2021 By The Numbers
2022-01-05 20:22:40.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist
2022 has arrived, so it is a perfect time to look back and summarize the year that was (2021 in this case). If I were to use adjectives to summarize 2021 weather conditions on the summit, they would be: warm, dry, foggy, and windy. To find out why these words were chosen, let’s look back at some of the stats from last year.
Our average temperature for 2021 was 29.7°F (-1.3°C), which is 1.7°F above the 1991-2020 30-year normal for our station. This would make the annual average temperature of 2021 tied with 1938 for the third highest in our dataset, which started in 1932. Our warmest temperature recorded in 2021 was 67°F (19°C), which occurred on August 12th and again on August 13th. Our coldest temperature recorded in 2021 was 28°F below (-28°F/-33°C), which occurred on March 2nd.
In terms of total liquid precipitation, from January to December of 2021, the summit of Mt Washington received 77.41 inches, which was 13.82 inches below the 1991-2020 30-year normal for our location. From January to December of 2021, the summit received 222.5 inches of snow, which was 59.5 inches below the 1991-2020 30-year normal for our location.
In terms of winds, for 2021 our average was 34.9 mph, which was equal (+/-0.0 mph) to the 1991-2020 30-year normal for our location. Our highest gust recorded for 2021 was 157 mph, which occurred on January 24th. From January to December, we had 135 days which had gusts of 73 mph or greater and of those days, 38 days had gusts that were 100 mph or greater.
As for our weather during 2021, we averaged 35% of the possible sunshine. The summit had 16 days that were noted as clear or mostly clear, and there were 44 partly sunny days, with the remaining 305 days being filed under mostly cloudy, cloudy, or obscured (fog). We had 321 days with at least some amount of fog recorded during a 24-hour period. We had 145 days with rain and 156 days with snow.
Moonlight on the northern Summits at dusk from November 2021
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist