Mt. Washington has some of the most extreme weather conditions in the world, breaking records in precipitation, wind speed, and temperature. Located in New Hampshire, its peak rises 6,288 feet above sea level and its “arms” stretch across the valley below which creates a unique climate and helps produce some of the most extreme weather in the world. It is the tallest mountain in the North East and meets with storm systems from the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico, which is one of the reasons why it sees such extreme weather.
Mt. Washington’s weather rivals mountains like Mt. Everest and Denali.
It is one of the windiest mountains in the world holding the record for highest wind speed in the 20th century, receiving gusts of 231 miles per hour. It still holds the record for highest winds not associated with a tropical storm. It experiences such consistently high wind speeds that many people consider it one of the windiest places on earth.
In fact, it’s so windy, that they literally have chained some of the original buildings to the mountain to prevent them from blowing away.
Think that is impressive? That’s not all. Mt. Washington also has received the most annual precipitation anywhere in the U.S. east of the cascades, receiving 96.9 inches of precipitation in one year, with most of it falling as snow. With temperatures recorded as low as -59 degrees, that makes for some really light snow.
Now, if you’re a hardcore skier, you’re probably wondering which zone is the best zone to ski? Well, the answer is Tuckerman Ravine. Famous for its 50-degree slopes, Memorial Day skiing, and good snow conditions, it is a skiers dream… but also is one of the deadliest areas on the mountain. The ravine experiences over 100 avalanches per year and has killed nearly a dozen skiers throughout the years.
The mountain’s extreme weather brings adventures from all over the world to hike, ski, and explore its unique climate. It’s truly is one of the most unique and beautiful mountains in the North East. A quarter of a million people visit Mt. Washington’s slopes each year and many do not realize the severity of the weather there. Nearly 150 people have died on the mountain, mainly because they were not prepared for the extreme weather conditions.
If you visit Mt. Washington make sure to be prepared for extreme weather.