Mt. Washington Winds
Why are the winds so intense atop Mt. Washington at the
White Mountains in Vermont?
The high winds on Mt. Washington are the result of
it's high altitude, 6288 feet, the highest in the
northeastern USA (although high winds are common on
many mountain tops), local topography, and storm system
Mt. Washington is part of the Presidential Range of mountains
(including Mt. Adams, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Eisenhower in
the northern part of the eastern edge of the White Mountains)
that extend from north to south, presenting a barrier to
the normal westerly winds. Air is forced over the mountains,
thereby increasing the wind speed over that which occurs in
the valleys below.
Mt. Washington is also near or within several common storm
tracks (with accompanying higher wind speeds), including low
pressure systems moving east from the Great Lakes and
northeasters that drive northward along the eastern seaboard.
David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012