An atmospheric river that battered parts of Northern California on 20th February 2017, causing widespread flooding, had a powerful wind gust of 199 mph, establishing a record for the state. This occurred at Ward Peak, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, just west of Lake Tahoe on the Sierra crest. The ski area closed because of avalanche danger and continuing high winds, which averaged over 100 mph.
“Wind speeds that high are pretty rare, extremely rare,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Hannah Chandler.
NWS Sacramento and California State Climatologist Michael Anderson worked together with the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) to get this first Californian record wind certified.