Mt. Washington: The Epitome of New England’s Variable Weather

2013-07-30 15:34:25.000 – Matthew Cann,  Summit Intern

Clear View vs. Fog View

New England is known for it’s variability in weather; how the region can see all four seasons in a matter of days. For instance, a typical March in New England can include a blizzard, single-digit wind chills, 80 degree heat, and destructive flooding. With weather that can change in the blink of an eye, it is very important to frequently check the weather. The importance becomes even greater when dealing with severe weather. Yesterday we observed a line of strong thunderstorms moving across New Hampshire into Maine. Initially these storms were moving northeast at about 15mph when suddenly they stalled for almost an hour and continued to build about 20 miles southwest of the summit. The result was the storms arriving over top the mountain about an hour later than originally expected. This was a prime example of why it is always important to keep a constant eye on the weather and not just check one time, especially in New England where it can change so quickly.

Mt Washington is perhaps the epitome of New England’s variable weather conditions. One second you may barely be able to see 15 feet ahead of you, a few seconds later and you can see over 100 miles! That means you can see 35,000 times as far in a matter of seconds, only to once again be socked in by the clouds and see no more than 15 feet a minute later. Mount Washington also has extremely variable winds. On April 23, 1993 the winds went from calm to over 100mph in under 6 hours. While that won’t happen every day, it is still a good idea to frequently check the Higher Summits Forecast, MWV Forecast, and the radar in order to keep on top of New England and Mount Washington’s highly variable weather.


Matthew Cann,  Summit Intern

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