Mt. Washington summit has first icing event since late June
Staff atop the observatory at 6,288 feet found ice on parts of the building early Monday morning -- the first time ice had been observed since June 23.
MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY, N.H. -- Autumn has just begun, but it was briefly a wintry scene up atop the Mt. Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.
Staff atop the observatory at 6,288 feet found ice on parts of the building early Monday morning -- the first time ice had been observed since June 23. According to the site's weather station, the temperature dropped to 31 degrees with a peak wind earlier in the period of 77 mph.
"Accumulations were light and brief but are a reminder that winter weather can occur in any season," the observatory wrote on Twitter.
Early this AM the summit briefly dipped below freezing, resulting in our first icing event since June 23rd! Accumulations were light and brief but are a reminder that winter weather can occur in any season. Check out the Higher Summits Forecast on our website to stay in the know! pic.twitter.com/1fRQDLR2Ic— MWObservatory (@MWObs) September 27, 2021
Mt. Washington calls itself the "Home of the World's Worst Weather," where snow, ice and ferocious winds make for a winter wonderland experience hard to find elsewhere. The tower routinely records triple-digit wind speeds like this event where gusts hit 109 mph:
But even 109 mph could be considered "child's play" up there, as the observatory once recorded a world-record wind gust of 231 mph in April 1934.
That record would hold until 1996, when a new record wind speed of 253 mph was recorded during Tropical Cyclone Olivia in Australia.
Thus a 31-degree temperature after a 77 mph wind earlier in the day is nothing new up there, but just a taste of what is sure to become even more intense as winter draws closer.