Mt. Washington Loses Windspeed Record

Australian hurricane surpasses windspeed record long held by New Hampshire mountain
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Australian hurricane surpasses windspeed record long held by New Hampshire mountain

Records were made to be broken, but this one especially hurts: New Hampshire's Mt. Washington, long the site of the world's fastest recorded wind gust at 231 miles per hour, has been surpassed by an Australian cyclone. Cyclone Olivia churned out 251-mph winds off the coast of Barrow Island back in 1996.

Somehow, the record-breaking wind gust went unnoticed until it came up again as the subject of an upcoming extreme weather conference. Officials at the Mount Washington Observatory confirmed the finding with Australian scientists last Tuesday. The previous record was captured on the summit of Mt. Washington back in 1934.

"It's obviously a big disappointment. Having the world record for over six decades was such a part of the soul of this organization and for fans of Mount Washington around the country," said Scot Henley, the observatory's executive director.

The experts note that Mount Washington still holds the record for the North and west hemispheres, and can still lay claim to having some of the world's worst weather. Given these regularly terrible conditions, New Hampshire could get the record back—and scientists plan to look out for it.

"So the work continues up there, and we'll be ready for the next one," he said.

This is an Olympic year, after all—let's bring the record back, Mt. Washington! USA! USA! USA!

—Ted Alvarez

via Cold Splinters