Weather History: 80 Years of Weather at Mt. Washington

On this date, October 15th, back in 1932, the Mt. Washington Observatory was founded in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Located at 6,288 feet above sea level, this weather station sits on the highest peak in the northeastern United States. Given this unique position, the observatory experiences some of the wildest weather on the planet. With an average annual temperature of only 27.3°F, it is not unusual to see snow in the summit region year round.  The mountain, however, is most famous for its winds. In fact, until recently, it held the record for the fastest wind gust ever recorded, 231 mph in 1934.  The new record of 253 mph was reported on Australia’s Barrow Island in 2010 during Cyclone Olivia.

Having personally made it to the summit of Mt. Washington twice, I can attest to its cold and blustery conditions – even during the summer months. It is a challenging environment, but nonetheless an amazing place.

Cloudy summit of Mt. Washington, NH:  6, 288 feet

Image Credit: The Weather Gamut

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.