199-mph wind in the Sierra breaks California record

Skiers endure high winds near the summit of Slide Mountain Monday, March 14, 2016, at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe in Reno, Nev. Forecasters have issued an avalanche warning along the Sierra crest after a weekend storm dumped up to 20 inches of snow on the mountains around Lake Tahoe. The warning issued Monday covers the highest reaches of the range in California and Nevada. (Benjamin Spillman/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP) NO SALES; NEVADA APPEAL OUT; SOUTH RENO WEEKLY OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Scientists say a 199-mph gust that blasted a mountaintop at the Alpine Meadows ski resort last February was the strongest wind ever recorded in California.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday it was also the strongest non-tornado wind in the United States last year.

Tom Padham, a meteorologist with the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that even in winds of 120 mph, a person is not able to stand.

Mount Washington holds the record for fastest wind speed in the country – a 231-mph gust in April 1934. That stood as the world record for 62 years, until a 253-mph wind was noted during a typhoon on Barrow Island, Australia.

The 199-mph gust whipped Ward Peak in Alpine Meadows the night of Feb. 20 during a storm.



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