Saturday, January 28, 2006

No wind record for Grandfather Mountain, at least not officially

The National Weather Service said it cannot officially recognize Tuesday's 200+ mph wind gust at Grandfather Mountain. The howler broke out two windows at the visitor's center and peeled up tile in a stairwell. An NWS spokesman said the service cannot count the gust as a record because of the lack of a weather station at the mountain. The wind gauge at Grandfather only records up to 200 mph and its needle stood stuck at 200. If recognized, it would have been the highest wind gust on record since Mt. Washington in New Hampshire recorded a world-record 231 mph gust in 1934. Grandfather set its previous high-wind mark of 196 mph in 1997.

In a related story, Hugh Morton, whose family owns the mountain, is battling cancer.

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