December 19, 2016
Lots of interesting weather happening in the US as we are all aware. On last Friday morning the observatory at Mt. Washington, NH was the second coldest location in the world, at a temperature of -35°F and with 70mph winds a wind chill of -86°F. The observatory is famous for extreme weather and until Cyclone Olivia hit Australia in 1996, Mt. Washington held the record for the fastest recorded wind speed on earth at 231 mph. The observatory is manned year round.
Closer to home, a powerful winter storm produced snow and ice for our weekend while driving an extremely sharp cold front through the central US. The front can clearly be seen blasting through west Texas in the surface weather screenshot below from Saturday evening. Wind barbs show speed and direction and red numbers showing temperature illustrate temperatures near 80 south of the front with temperatures in the 20’s just one county away north of the front. At Plains, TX the West Texas Mesonet observed the temperature dropping from mid 70’s to mid 20’s in 15 minutes, along with winds gusting to 70mph with the passage of the front. In weather lingo such a powerful front is called a “Blue Norther”. This arctic plunge left Kansas City with a high of 6°F on Sunday with a low of -8°F, both around 30° below average.