View Full Version : Observatory question

01-16-2007, 07:27 PM
How is it that the building atop MT washington manage to not get damaged during 200+mph winds? If I understand correctly when the 231 mph wind speed was recorded people were at the summit when this occurred?

Mike D
01-16-2007, 10:04 PM
The stage office was encased in rime ice when the Observers inside measured the 231 MPH wind. Without that thick layer of ice, the building may very well have blown away.

The Sherman Adams building is made of two foot-thick concrete with steel reinforcements. It is rumored to have been designed to withstand 300 MPH wind without suffering damage.

The Tip Top House has a very low profile to reduce the force exerted by high winds.

I don't really know about the Yankee building. Maybe someone else does...

Bill O
01-16-2007, 10:06 PM
The current building is built to withstand winds over 300mph. It is made with re-inforced concrete that in many locations is several feet thick. The windows are made with bullet-resistant plastics. It is essentially a bunker. It also helps that there is no significant debris flying around in Mount Washington's winds. In a hurricane your neighbors house might blow into yours or a tornado could pick up a car and drop it on your roof.

During the big wind in the 1930's it was a very different story. That building was simply a well built wooden structure, tethered to the ground with chains. How that building survived 231 mph, I don't know. Many people theorize a thick coating of rime probably made a major difference. What I do know is that is survived.

01-17-2007, 06:27 AM
The old hotel on top when I was hiking as a kid had huge chains going up and over it.