The hut on the summit of Mount Washington was a war zone on the morning of April 12, 1934, according to the logbook of one of the weather observers stationed there. Everyone was mobilized, at their stations, monitoring instruments watching what was happening outside. The chains draped over the small building and secured to the rocks on either side rattled in the wind as the anemometer on top of the roof spun wildly. Every few rotations, it sent a signal down into the building, which observers timed using a stopwatch and used a chart to determine the outside wind speed. The readings clicked higher: 220 miles per hour, 229 miles per hour, then at 1:21 in the afternoon, 231 miles per hour. The reading was — and would remain until 1996 — the fastest gust of wind ever recorded on the surface of the Earth. What's even more amazing? This all happened at only 6,288 feet (1,917 meters) in altitude, within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, in northern New England, on the summit of Mount Washington.
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Written by Ryan Wichelns October 23, 2018
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