Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Discovering Mount Washington

Orion, Ivy, my friend Susan's daughter, Lochlann, Tiff and Buddha

Our family recently took a trip to the top of Mt. Washington.

Some facts about Mt. Washington that we all learned about during our trip:

Topping out at 6,288 feet above sea level, Mount Washington, New Hampshire, located some 130 miles north of Boston, is the highest point in the northeastern United States.

* The Mount Washington Observatory has been staffed continuously since 1932, with the exception of a brief evacuation in February 2004 due to a fire.

* In April 1934, the observatory recorded a 231-mile-per-hour (372 kmh) wind that remains a world record for a land-based weather station. Some of the observatory buildings are secured to the summit with chains to keep them from blowing away. Temperatures atop the mountain can drop as low as -47 degrees Fahrenheit (-44 C)

* The average temperature on the summit is 26.5 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 C), winds average 35.3 miles per hour (56.8 kmh). The summit gets about 42 feet of snow per year, and typically sees snowfall every month of the year -- though it melts quickly in the summer.

* Summit staff work 12-hour shifts in eight-day cycles. Typically shifts change on Wednesday, although severe weather conditions sometimes force a change. They do not shower while working atop the mountain.

* On the clearest days, observers can see as far as Mount Marcy in New York State, 134 miles to the west

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