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View Full Version : WMO lists new wind gust record 113.2 m/s (253 mph; 220 kt)



Ric Werme
01-24-2010, 01:22 PM
I know of some event that challenged the MWO record, but I'm not sure if this is the same event or not, I think not. It is from 1996, I'm not sure what took them so long to investigate, this sounds like a new declaration.

http://wmo.asu.edu/world-maximum-surface-wind-gust
http://wmo.asu.edu/
http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/infonotes/info_58_en.html

fifteendays
01-25-2010, 10:40 AM
I know of some event that challenged the MWO record, but I'm not sure if this is the same event or not, I think not. It is from 1996, I'm not sure what took them so long to investigate, this sounds like a new declaration.

http://wmo.asu.edu/world-maximum-surface-wind-gust
http://wmo.asu.edu/
http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/infonotes/info_58_en.html

Thanks for posting this, Ric. We're obviously very, very interested in the WMO's findings and we are working to learn more.

Scot Henley, Executive Director
Mount Washington Observatory

Ric Werme
01-26-2010, 08:40 AM
http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/wa/cyclone/about/inland_pilbara/olivia.shtml has the track and satellite image.

No mention of the Barrow Is. wind speeds:

TC Olivia was an intense cyclone that crossed the Pilbara coast near Mardie station between Onslow and Dampier. It caused wind gusts to 267 km/h offshore and 257 km/h at Mardie station, some of the highest gusts ever recorded in Australia's history.

WMUR noted the new record this morning. I notified NECN yesterday but I don't know if they've aired anything.

The study concluded the gust was from a small vortex in the eyewall, which makes a lot of sense. If so, it's a rather significant measurement of something largely studied by debris fields from hurricane Andrew and a near disastrous flight into Hurrican Hugo.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_n6_v143/ai_13434075/
http://www.wunderground.com/education/hugo1.asp (See page 5)

fifteendays
01-26-2010, 12:37 PM
Hi folks,

Here's a link to our press release regarding the Australian record wind:
http://www.mountwashington.org/news/release.php?id=49

Scot

h2oeco
01-26-2010, 07:46 PM
The Observatory has created a page on their site re: this topic with more information and related news links:

http://observatory.mountwashington.org/site/PageNavigator/new_world_record_wind

Ed

Bill O
01-26-2010, 08:29 PM
Yawn...it doesn't get much more boring than a wind gust recorded at an unmanned station, especially when it happened almost 14 years ago. On any given day I bet 200mph winds are occurring someplace on the planet. A couple times a year (maybe less) some field in the Great Plains experiences a 300mph wind gust.

Mount Washington's record windspeed wasn't special just because it was fast. It was famous because of the story behind the event.

KD Talbot
01-26-2010, 08:43 PM
I'm with Bill, it's the story, not the speed.

Besides, unless Barrow Island has a 6288' mountain where they record the windspeeds, Mount Washington is STILL the "Highest"!

KDT

h2oeco
01-26-2010, 08:44 PM
I just said something similar to someone else - the people involved, the location, and the weather overall are all equally important to the story of the Obs "Big Wind."

In contrast, a story about a wind gust recorded by an unmanned anemometer, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sheep, makes for a much less impressive tale... and pales by comparison...

Ed

mtruman
01-26-2010, 08:57 PM
In contrast, a story about a wind gust recorded by an unmanned anemometer, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sheep, makes for a much less impressive tale... and pales by comparison...
Ed

Unless you're one of the sheep :eek:

Anna LeBlanc
01-26-2010, 09:24 PM
Unless you're one of the sheep :eek:

POOR SHEEP!!!;)

____________

Anna

billysinc
01-27-2010, 06:39 AM
I'm with Bill O on this one. The planet is a pretty big place and I'm sure there have been higher winds just no one there to witness or record it. That's what makes the MWO event so fascinating, people were there living through it.

As a side note while looking at threads about this I didn't realize that there was a 200mph wind recorded on Cannon mountain back in the early 70's. That story was pretty eye opening as well.

Steve M
01-27-2010, 07:18 AM
I'm with Bill O on this one. The planet is a pretty big place and I'm sure there have been higher winds just no one there to witness or record it. That's what makes the MWO event so fascinating, people were there living through it.

As a side note while looking at threads about this I didn't realize that there was a 200mph wind recorded on Cannon mountain back in the early 70's. That story was pretty eye opening as well.

I'm with you all...If there was someone at that station holding the anemometer while experiencing the 253 mph wind, then I would be impressed. Winds of that speed occur in tornadoes regularly but no one is standing in them to record wind speed.

Ric Werme
01-27-2010, 08:44 AM
http://wmo.asu.edu/ lists two wind records:

1) Maximum Gust
2) Maximum Gust for Tropical Cyclone

My guess is that 2) was created from a sense that TCs are important enough wind makers that record winds are worth tracking. That may have made sense then, but it appears that 1) and 2) may be the identical event for quite a while.

Tornadoes are just was important (well, more important if you live in tornado country, duh!) but suffer from being a) small ground foot print, and b) anemometers are typically taken out by flying debris such as hay bales, roofs, and cows. Tornadoes are associated with thunderstorms, and they also spawn damaging straight line winds. I'm not sure if that's worth tracking.

Extratropical storms might warrant a class (which is what the MWO record falls under), but some of those effects are enhanced by a high pressure system (like the MWO record) and credit should not be given to just the storm.

There are various other events, e.g. downslope winds, firestorms, jet streams redirected to ground level, etc. but they don't have the impact of the rest.

So, perhaps the MWO, or AMS, or a pack of rabid cizitens, should petition the WMO to change the wind records they track. I suggest:

1) Maximum Gust for Tropical Cyclone
IIRC, the gust has to be sustained for 5 seconds (or is it 30?). 5 seconds
is reasonable for catching eyewall vortices, is 30 too long?

2) Maximum Instantaneous speed in Tornado Within 100m of Ground
I envision this as allowing (okay, requiring) doppler radar speed
measurements close enough to the ground to have some relevance to
the damages sustained at ground level. A lower height might be
reasonable.

3) Maximum Gust for other Meteorological Event
The MWO record would be restored here, of course.

At the very least, it should be pointed out that currently the Barrow event is the only event that has two records in their global section. If they don't want to follow something like my proposal, I think they should drop the TC record since it is listed below in the TC section. They might also replace it with the Maximum Sustained Surface Wind for Tropical Cyclone which arguably is more important to people affected by TCs.

Patrad Fischroy
01-27-2010, 09:11 AM
I just came across this blurb as well

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35084480/

I also am in agreement here that day in, day out, hourly, there are real people here at the observatory taking measurements and recording the events as they occur.
I would also think that it is due to the manned nature of the observatory that the research that has created the ability to have remote, unmanned stations like that at Barrow Island. Without validation of instrument designs by manned verification, there would be no such measurement ( unless there was a crash course in sheep training :rolleyes:)
In many ways the observatory has been out there "training their replacement" for quite some time now. Kudos to you all for your hard work.

FisherCat
01-27-2010, 11:39 AM
I was under the impression that at one time a higher wind than 231 was recorded in Guam, but because it was part of a typhoon not just a "regular" wind, it technically wasn't a record. This wind was also part of a typhoon, is the situation any different?

JimS
01-27-2010, 05:25 PM
I was under the impression that at one time a higher wind than 231 was recorded in Guam, but because it was part of a typhoon not just a "regular" wind, it technically wasn't a record. This wind was also part of a typhoon, is the situation any different?

Typhoon, hurricane, cyclone, all same type of tropical system, just nomenclature and location. All involve straightline winds, like that on mount washington.

The Guam storm was discounted because of the type of wind recording devise used, and the calibrations on it. Not because of the type of wind.

The questions about the type of winds with this event are arising because of the possibility of vorticies within the eye wall, think tornadoes, that were not actually straightline winds.

Rich
01-27-2010, 05:52 PM
The Mountain still kicks ass! (usually mine):rolleyes:

FisherCat
01-27-2010, 10:25 PM
Typhoon, hurricane, cyclone, all same type of tropical system, just nomenclature and location. All involve straightline winds, like that on mount washington.

The Guam storm was discounted because of the type of wind recording devise used, and the calibrations on it. Not because of the type of wind.

The questions about the type of winds with this event are arising because of the possibility of vorticies within the eye wall, think tornadoes, that were not actually straightline winds.

Thanks for clearing that up Jim, I knew there was something about the discounting of the Guam wind.

In reality, I'd bet the strongest winds on the whole Presidential Range are in Edmands Col. Tight area when wind is whippin thru.

JimS
01-28-2010, 12:20 PM
A great post in the 'Post' by two former employees of the Obs...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/01/farewell_to_mt_washingtons_win.html