Wind Speed on Mount Washington

2013-05-16 16:17:01.000 – Mike Dorfman,  Weather Observer

Our Pitot Static Anemometer

You may have heard about our extreme weather here on the summit, including our previous world record wind speed of 231 miles per hour recorded in April of 1934. Many other observatories in less extreme environments use propeller anemometers or other spinning anemometers to determine wind speed, but this does not work on Mt Washington, thanks to a weather phenomenon called rime ice. Rime ice builds on every exposed surface on the summit when we are in the clouds and below freezing, forming feathers of opaque ice. This would quickly build on the moving parts of traditional anemometers and easily make them inaccurate and break them.

In order to successfully record extremely strong winds in harsh environments like Mt Washington, the observatory turned to a device commonly used to record airspeed on airplanes, called a Pitot Tube. This device determines wind speed by directly measuring the force exerted by the wind in a small tube. With no moving parts and surfaces that can be easily heated, this piece of technology works very well on the summit.

If you’re driving through the area, you should visit the spectacular summit! If you’re a member, you can get a tour of the observatory and get up close and personal with our Pitot Static anemometer. You can even be the highest person standing on solid ground in the northeast during the tour (our tower is slightly higher than the geographic summit). I hope to see you this summer!

 

Mike Dorfman,  Weather Observer

Spring is Here

March 16th, 2024|Comments Off on Spring is Here

Spring is Here By Alexis George Our snowpack, although still present, has slowly been dwindling over the course of this month. At the beginning of March, there was a snow depth of 27 inches

  • The view of the Solar Eclipse from Mt Washington on August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2024: A Celestial Wonder

March 12th, 2024|Comments Off on Solar Eclipse 2024: A Celestial Wonder

Solar Eclipse 2024: A Celestial Wonder By Ryan Knapp As you might have heard through social media, the news, magazines, friends, family, etc., a solar eclipse is about to be viewable across North America.

Find Older Posts