|Looking Northwest atop the Research Observatory|
|Observatory in Springtime|
That direction of flow also compresses the winds between the mountains and whatever air masses lie above, squeezing them like a stream of water rocketing through a narrow nozzle. And just for a little extra oomph, two spurs of the range angle off in just the right configuration to funnel everything right at Mount Washington itself. A calm day up here is almost unheard of.
The temperature last week was -16°, and the winds were at about 60 m.p.h., gusting to nearly 90. Temperature wise, it gets worse. Mount Washington's record low of -60 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded on January 5, 1885. More recently, on January 16, 2004, the summit weather observation tower registered a temperature of -43.6 degrees, with sustained winds of 88 mph, resulting in a wind chill of -103 degrees. During a three day stretch between January 13 and January 16, 2004, the wind chill never went above -55 degrees.
Snowstorms have been recorded in every month of the year. Snowfall averages 311 inches per year, and a temperature above 72 degrees has never been recorded at the summit. Ever.
|In Summer, ascending can be done via the Cog Railroad|
Not that Mt. Washington doesn't have appealing features, like the Cog Railroad and Mt. Washington Hotel (which reminds one of The Overlook Hotel in The Shining). It is quite beautiful, however, and located far from the inhospitable summit.
If you're of a mind to visit this profoundly interesting place (I'd stick to the hotel, not the observatory at the summit), here's a lovely map. Cheers!