WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

February 2019 has been a record wind monster

By Jesse Ferrell
2/26/2019, 12:06:59 PM

February 2019 is going to go down as an extremely windy month. Records have been challenged from Hawaii to Maine. The following gusts have been observed in the last two weeks:

Wind Gusts Last Two Weeks

  • Mauna Kea, HI: 191 mph
  • Mammoth Mountain, CA: 173 mph
  • Mount Washington, NH: 171 mph
  • Squaw Valley, CA: 143 mph
  • Grandfather Mountain, NC: 124 mph

Most recently, these gusts are from Sunday into Monday:

High Wind Gusts 2/24-2/25


On Sunday, 700,000 customers (more than 2 million people) lost power because of a wind storm that brought winds as high as 171 mph on Mount Washington, New Hampshire. (their highest in 34 years and an all-time February record).

Mount Washington, NH's Record 171 Mph Wind Gust


In North Carolina, a new record wind gust of 124 mph was measured at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, (the highest since the station was installed in May 2008).

Grandfather Mountain Wind Gust 2/24


Reports of high winds and wind damaged covered the Northeast quadrant of the country:

Wind reports 2/24-2/25


The storm also destroyed a communications tower on Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine that had stood for presumably quite a while:


But even before last weekend's event, the month had been very windy. Both the Mount Washington and Grandfather Mountain stations observed impressive gusts (148 mph, the highest in 10 years and 121 mph, the highest on record, respectively) only two weeks ago!

Around the same time, an extreme winter storm brought a 191-mph wind gust to Manua Kea, Hawaii, potentially setting a new record for the state (I discuss that in detail on my blog).

When that storm hit California on Feb. 14 , another round of extreme wind gusts was recorded, including 173 mph, even higher than Mount Washington's reading:


So why has it been so windy? El Nino is likely to blame. It was officially declared on Feb. 15 and is known for increasing stormy weather in Hawaii, California and New England.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)