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Ernesto Burden is VP Digital for The Telegraph and NH.com. He lives in Manchester, NH with his family.

Say it ain't so – Mount Washington wind speed record broken?

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Hampshire's own Mount Washington has long held the record for highest velocity wind in the world. But it looks like that record may have been broken – by a tropical cyclone measured at ground level in Australia.
Dave Brooks, science writer at The Telegraph reported today, "The World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that a gust of 253.5 mph (408 km/h) was directly measured at ground level in Australia during Tropical Cyclone Olivia on April 10, 1996, breaking the 231 mph (372 km/h) measurement made in April 1934 atop Mount Washington."

Scot Henley, Executive Director of the Mount Washington Observatory commented in a news release on the MWO site: "It was bound to happen, but it’s definitely quite a shock to hear that news. While we are disappointed that it appears that Mount Washington may have been bumped from the top, at our core we are all weather fans and we are very impressed with the magnitude of that typhoon and the work of the committee that studied it."

"The new record does not diminish the fact that Mount Washington is one of the fiercest places on the planet," says Ken Rancourt, Mount Washington Observatory’s Director of Summit Operations.

Having been to the summit in both summer and during the winter (with crampons, an ice ax and an EMS guide for an NH Magazine and NH Chronicle story I was working on with my wife Kristen), I have to concur. The winter summit is savage and stunning, beautiful and terrifying.

This footage from YouTube posted by WMUR Channel 9 underscores just how hard that wind blows. World record or no.



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