California has a new wind-speed record: 199 mph

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists say a 199-mph (320-kph) 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 (193 kph), a person is not able to stand.

Mount Washington holds the record for fastest wind speed in the country — a 231-mph (371-kph) gust in April 1934. That stood as the world record for 62 years, until a 253-mph (407-kph) wind was noted during a typhoon on Barrow Island, Australia.

The 199-mph gust was certified last week as California's strongest-ever wind by the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of NOAA.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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