2011-04-12 18:16:01.000 – Stacey Kawecki,  Observer and Meteorologist

Happy Big Wind Day!

Happy Big Wind Day! 77 years ago, the infant Mount Washington Observatory became world known. The observers recorded a world record wind speed of 231 mph! That world record held until 1996. Even though we can no longer boast the world record, we can claim the highest wind speed recorded by man.

The summit of Mount Washington consistently experiences winds in excess of 100 mph (on average, 1 out of every 4 days in the winter). It seemed like the weather was in a celebratory mood today. In honor of the anniversary of the 231 mph wind speed, winds appropriately gusted up to 105 mph early this morning.

The unusually warm weather prompted an incredible melting event on the summit. The summit is now covered in inches of ice as opposed to feet of snow. One of the consequences of a melting summit (and thus a melting cold room) is internal flooding. Last night, at approximately seven thirty, I noticed the water level at the bottom of the tower getting dangerously high. Dave and I immediately rushed into action. We grabbed a sump pump, opened the exit one flight up, put one end of the hose out the door and the other on the sump pump. Thus the tower and living quarters experienced rather inclement weather we successfully managed to keep the water level below the critical point. In fact, at one point Steve was wearing his rain jacket to go up and down the tower stairs!

Now temperatures have cooled, the fog has stopped, and it’s actually quite pleasant outside. The drips have slowed considerably and the water level is under control. Time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful view!


Stacey Kawecki,  Observer and Meteorologist

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