The blizzard on Monday once again reminded us of how windy the Red River Valley can be. The wind gusted to over 50 mph at times (peak was 54 mph at Fargo’s Airport and 55 mph at Moorhead’s airport). But our wind potential pales in comparison to the weather station atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
Rising to over 6000 feet the same cold air masses the sweep through our area have a much greater impact on the weather station situated so high above sea level. Wind speeds exceeding 100 mph are common and in April, 1934 a gust measured to 231 mph was observed. This has been listed as the strongest wind speed ever directed measured by instrumentation until this month.
The World Meteorological Organization just announced that after a long review that a new world wind speed record has been verified. Back on April 10, 1996 Tropical Cyclone Olivia produced a gust of 253 mph as it passed near Barrow Island in Australia besting the long held Mount Washington record.