I tried to visit Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, last year but was unable to reach the summit because of 105 mph winds. Why is the weather there so bad?
Tim Hanweek, Boston, Mass.
Mt. Washington is the site of the second highest wind speed ever recorded on Earth: 231 mph on April 12, 1934 (strongest is 253 mph on April 10, 1996, at Barrow Island, Australia). At 6,288 feet, Mt. Washington is the highest point in a region known for its weather extremes. New England’s geography helps create huge temperature variations because arctic air in the cool season can come in contact with air warmed by the Atlantic Ocean. Its elevation, steep slopes, north/south orientation and easy access to oceanic moisture assure Mt. Washington is exposed to every New England weather extreme.