This Feb. 4 sunrise time lapse was captured not long after our weather observers measured an actual temperature of -47° F, matching the Observatory‘s record low set in 1934, despite wind chill values approaching -110°F. View video.
The beginning of February was one for the record books, literally. On Feb. 4, the Observatory tied our weather station’s all-time low temperature of 47° F below.
Excitement grew as the summit transitioned from a warm January into the White Mountains’ statistically coldest and snowiest month. Several days out, there were signals of a very deep upper-level low, which usually brings high winds and cold temperatures. This system seemed to have unusual depth, and our forecast held true through the event.
Winds were forecasted to gust well over 100 mph, with air temperatures expected near 50° F below. The summit team was in for one doozy of a storm, and it delivered!
Temperatures and snowfall decreased Friday, Feb. 3, as the cold front passed. By mid-afternoon, measurements had fallen 50° from the 5° above that was recorded at our 1:00 a.m. synoptic observation, putting the ambient air temperature at 45° below with wind gusts upwards of 110 mph.
The summit crew performed admirably, with tenacity and dedication to the history and continuation of our 90-year dataset. The care and determination to keep each other safe while recording every interval during this wild and gnarly event are immensely valued. It’s these types of moments that commemorate the comradery and re-invigorate the purpose of our summit team and support.
Congratulations, and job well done, from this past Observer and currently proud Director!
Director of Weather Operations
JANUARY WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
Fastest Wind Speed
With an average temperature of 16.1 °F, January 2023 was the summit’s warmest January on record, measured by the Observatory from 1933 to present. Complete monthly F6 reports can be viewed here.
Science in the Mountains: Winter Weather Whiplash
Extreme swings in winter weather often bring intense temperature shifts from sub-to-above freezing. On Tues., March 7 at 7:00 p.m., join researchers Alexandra Contosta and John Campbell as they share how understanding such events can lead to mitigating and adapting to our changing winter climate. Reserve your spot.
Our Science in the Mountains virtual lecture series continues to be free and open to anyone on Zoom or Facebook, thanks to our supporters, with all program recordings available on our website.
Andrea Masters joins Obs as Director of Development
We’re excited to share that Andrea Masters has joined the Observatory as our new Director of Development, following 20+ years as the Pope Memorial Library executive director. Masters succeeds Stephanie Fitzgerald, who concluded her successful tenure with our nonprofit to continue raising her family. Learn more about Andrea in this recent Conway Daily Sun article and in her staff bio.
In his recent blog post, Weather Observer Karl Philippoff tells the story of working through the night on Mount Washington during one of the biggest weather stories in America on Feb. 3-4. Read Karl’s blog.
The Feb. 3-4 storm made headlines across the world as the Observatory measured temperatures below a -45 °F for 13 straight hours, sustained wind speeds above 82 mph for 28 straight hours, and a top wind gust of 127 mph.
Observatory staff continued a legacy of outreach and education as media outlets called to report on the powerful arctic front and learn about the weather observers who continued taking measurements in unprecedented wind chills. A few of these stories are linked below:
The -109 °F wind chill reported on the Observatory’s Current Summit Conditions page – on at least three occasions during the storm – is arguably the lowest wind chill ever reported in U.S. history.
It should be noted that wind chill, while a helpful frost bite risk factor that allows people to know how cold temperatures will feel on exposed skin, is a calculated value based on temperature, wind speed, and humidity, representing the amount of energy lost due to these factors. Unlike air temperature, wind chill is not a measurable or recordable meteorological parameter.
Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please send any feedback via email. Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit research and educational institution. Our work in mountain meteorology and climate science relies on your financial support. Consider advancing our mission with a donation today.
Ellen Estabrook2023-11-08T07:34:12-05:00November 7th, 2023|Comments Off on A Glimpse at METAR Reports
A Glimpse at METAR Reports By Alexis George, Weather Observer & Meteorologist METAR observations are submitted every hour of every day at Mount Washington Observatory. METAR is a format for reporting weather information that gets
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Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth’s weather and climate. It serves this mission by maintaining a weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, performing weather and climate research, conducting innovative science education programs, and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region. Our weather station is located on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, at Mount Washington State Park.