“The weather is like a sport, every record is there to be broken.” In these cases, it would take a whole lot for these records to be even remotely approached. Here are some of the most mind-boggling weather records in history.
When it comes to wind, the bigger pressure difference, the stronger the wind. In places like Mt. Washington, NH the wind is so strong it’s almost unbelievable! They experience hurricane force winds 110 days a year, and they hold the record for fastest wind gust not produced by a hurricane or tornado… it was 231 mph! This happened in 1934. The fastest wind ever recorded on Earth was in Moore, OK in 1999 during a tornado. The wind was measured to be a whopping 301 mph!
Did you know the Cascade Region in the Pacific Northwest is one of the snowiest regions on Earth? Mt. Baker in Washington holds the record for most snowfall from the ‘98-’99 season. Over the course of a few months, they received 1140” of snow! However, when it comes to consistent snowfall, the title of snowiest city goes to Aomori, Japan. They receive an average of 694″ of snow every single year. Around 100 days of the year the city sees snow… You really have to love snow if you live there!
India is home to the wettest locations on the planet. The country receives 75% of their annual rainfall during the monsoon months. One village called Mawsynram in India gets 467″ of rain a year… that’s like getting over an inch of rain a day! Cherrapunjee, another village located 7.5 miles east of Mawsynram, gets 450” a year. There’s a bit of competition between the two villages as to who is the rightful owner of the “Wettest Location” title. Although Mawsynram gets more rain annually, Cherrapunjee set a single year record of 1042″ between 1860 and 1861, and also holds the 48 hour rainfall record of 98″ made in 1995.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the location of the hottest temperature is in Death Valley, CA and the location of the coldest is Antarctica. What’s shocking is the sheer extremity of the temperatures recorded. Badwater Basin in Death Valley sits 282 feet below sea level and gets 2-4” of rain a year. 135 of their days in a single year get to be over 100 degrees! On July 10, 1913, a temperature of 134° was recorded. The location also recorded a 129.2 degree temperature in 2013. Talk about toasty! On the other side of the scale, -128.6° F was recorded at Vostok Research Station in Antarctica in July 1983. In August 2010, a satellite recorded -135.8° F in east Antarctica, but there’s controversy as to how accurate that reading was since it was taken from miles up in space.
Did you know lightning can strike 100 times per second? Or that it’s most likely to strike closer to equator? In Venezuela lies Lake Maracaibo, the lightning capital of the world. They are known for having the highest concentration of lightning- 233 flashes per square kilometer. The area receives 1.2 million flashes a year, a phenomenon called catatumbo lightning. The longest lightning flash ever recorded wasn’t at Lake Maracaibo however, it was in Oklahoma. In 2007, a lightning flash was recorded as 200 miles long, and it nearly stretched across the whole state!
Usually tornadoes last around 3 minutes, but one fateful March day in 1925, a tornado stayed on the ground for 3.5 hours. The Tri-State Tornado traveled 219 miles through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana at 73 mph. Although it’s suspected it was not one continuous tornado but rather nine, this infamous weather event has gone down in history as the longest tornado in any records.
The Philippines is an area that’s very susceptible to hurricane development. The Pacific Ocean surrounding the country sees around 16-17 typhoons a year. A typhoon is formed when tropical storm reaches tropical wind speed of at least 74 mph- super typhoons have winds over 150 mph. In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan had sustained winds of 195 mph. When it made landfall, it was disastrous. The region experienced 43 feet high storm surge, destroying much of the land and killing 6,000 people.
Have you ever experienced an extreme weather event in person? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was originally published on July 27, 2017.