Record Snowfalls Atop Mount Washington

By AlpineZone News |
Oct 26 2005 - 02:09 PM

MOUNT WASHINGTON, New Hampshire ??” Weather Observers on top of Mount Washington have been busy shoveling snow, deicing instruments, and keeping tabs on the many storms and record snowfalls experienced since the middle of October.

According to summit Observer Jim Salge, “by Sunday October 23rd we had 43.1 inches of snow and ice on the ground, which surpassed the old record of 39.8 inches set in October of 2000. The old 24 hour snowfall record for October was 17 inches set in 1969. That record was shattered October 17th when the summit received 25.5 inches of snow – a record short-lived – as the summit picked up 27.5 inches on October 26th, 25.7 of which fell in 24 hours. We’ve had 72 inches of snow in the last 10 days,” said Salge, “which is nearly 25 percent of a normal year’s total.”

This was also the wettest October on record with 27.85 liquid equivalent (rain and melted snow) surpassing the previous record of 25.56 set in February of 1969.

Mount Washington October snowfall records shattered
(Photo: Mount Washington Observatory)

Mount Washington Observatory staff will have a late shift change this week according to summit manager Ken Rancourt. “The Auto Road is now totally snow covered from top to bottom, and the high gusty winds resulting from the passing of Wilma and the nor’easter left many trees down across the lower half of the road,” he commented. “This is the worst I have seen since the ice storm of ’98.”

The summit of Mount Washington was not the only place to receive snow from this latest nor’easter. Tuckerman Ravine reported 24 inches of snow, and Wildcat Ski Area in Pinkham Notch plans to open this weekend, boasting 4 feet of snow at the summit and 17 inches at the base.

The Mount Washington Observatory is a private, membership supported non-profit organization which since 1932 has operated the year-round weather station atop Mount Washington. The Observatory maintains an active program of scientific research and educational activities, including the Mount Washington Center museum in North Conway and winter and summer trips to Mount Washington. For more information about the Observatory, contact the Observatory at Box 2310, North Conway NH 03860, 800-706-0432; or visit the Observatory on-line at