Winter is Coming

2015-09-24 17:12:10.000 – Michael Dorfman, Weather Observer/IT Specialist


It’s getting to that time of the year again! On the summit, it’s time to start replacing the screen windows with an extra bulletproof storm window. Soon we’ll have our first glaze event, and not soon after we’ll have our first frozen precipitation! We’ve recorded snowfall every month of the year, with average of 2.2 inches of frozen precipitation recorded in September.

I’m also very excited for the winds to start kicking up. Thanks to a looser temperature and pressure gradient in New England in the summertime, we don’t see quite as strong winds in the summertime as the wintertime. In the winter, we surpass hurricane force winds (74 mph) every other day on average, and we typically break the 100 mph mark 1 or 2 days a week!

The higher summits will see some changes as winter approaches as well. Some of the high altitude AMC huts have already closed, with others closing up mid-October. While the Mount Washington Auto Road and Mount Washington Cog Railway will be open for several more weeks (check the Auto Road and Cog’s calendars for more details), winter’s approach will inevitably eventually make the summit inaccessible to all those not on foot or in a snow cat.

If you do plan to hike above tree line this time of year, be careful! The weather in the valley may not reflect the weather on the summit! The shoulder seasons are some of the most dangerous times for unprepared hikers assuming the fall-like temperatures in the valley will exist in the mountains as well. Be sure to check out our Higher Summits Forecast before you head out on your hike!

A beautiful sunset from the summit.


Michael Dorfman, Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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