Wind Gust

2008-04-12 20:48:51.000 – Steve Welsh,  IT Observer

Wind Gust Of 118mph

Today is the 74th anniversary of the world’s highest ever recorded wind gust which, occurred during a storm, right here, on the summit of Mount Washington back in 1934.

On starting my shift this morning I assumed it would be a pretty quiet day wind wise, since there were no significant storms in the forecast. Certainly there would be no 200 mph plus gusts. So I was a little surprised when, around 7 am this morning, the building suddenly started to rattle and shake. I had just come inside and everything was normal, well normal for up here that is, foggy with a 55 mph breeze. On looking up I noticed the wind dial was maxed out at 100 knots and the hays chart was shooting up (see main photo). In a matter of seconds the wind had gone from around 55 mph up to a peak gust of 118 mph! The temperature took a nose dive dropping 6 degrees in about 10 minutes and the pressure jumped up briefly before settling back into its downward trend.

We think the phenomena was caused by a microburst linked to a squall line passing over us at that time. A microburst is a localized column of sinking air, which, when it hits the surface, spreads out as strong winds. This would explain the sudden change in wind speed, drop in temperature and spike in pressure.

Although no records were broken on this anniversary day it was still quite exciting.


Steve Welsh,  IT Observer

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