Extremes Are Relative

2008-09-01 16:12:46.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

Yesterday was a fairly breezy day on the summit. The combination of high pressure building in and low pressure departing to the northeast has been creating an increased pressure gradient over the region and therefore some moderate wind speeds on the summit.

Moderate by our standards, that is.

I mention this because yesterday was one of those days that showed me how much my standard of extremes has changed since I started living and working on Mount Washington. Winds yesterday afternoon were sustained around 50-55 mph with gusts up to 65 or 70. The peak gust for the day was 82 mph. For me, this is nothing special or extreme. In fact, during the winter this would be considered a fairly typical day.

I was reminded very quickly by members who we gave tours to yesterday, as well as random people from the public that I watched while on the deck taking the hourly observations, that to them those wind speeds are fairly extreme. Your average person has not likely even experienced a wind gust to 50 mph, much less sustained winds that high.

It was very cool to see people playing in the wind and having so much fun with it. It made me remember how lucky I am to get to be up here on a regular basis to experience the kind of weather that probably 99% of the population will go an entire lifetime without experiencing.


Brian Clark,  Observer

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