13:48 Sun Nov 11, 2018
A Windy Start to Winter
This year it seems like we have seen a greater frequency of strong storms that produced 100+ mph gusts up here on the summit. Taking a look at this year, as of today November 11th, we are sitting at 8 days since July 1st where we have hit 100 mph. This does not sound like much but usually our frequent high winds don’t start coming until December, then we see it much more regularly. Last year was also fairly windy but there was 7 days that had 100+ mph winds by this time.
Looking back at our history, the next year that tied or exceeded our total so far was 2005, where there were 10 days of 100+ mph wind gusts by this time of year. For the last 20 years or so, the amount of 100 mph days we have seen up to this point has averaged pretty low, averaging only 4-5 days. The 1980’s saw the most where most years were in the 8-10 day range.
Out of curiosity, I took a look at some of the historical weather maps on days where the winds got quite high during the 1980’s and there were pretty consistent large storms that traveled up the coast or came out of the Great Lakes region. Many of the storms that were seen multiple times a year in the 80’s would be a significant storm to even have just once here. I did not have the time to go through and see if I can find any sort of correlation with the ENSO (El Nino/la Nina index), NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), or the AO (Arctic Oscillation).
These oscillations influence the weather, with the NAO having the biggest impact on East Coast weather. There have been projects done in the past correlating these oscillations with snowfall and precipitation up here on the summit but it would be fun to do a more wind climatology and see how much of an effect these oscillations have on the winds up here!
Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist