Natural History

Top 10 Most Extreme Places in North America

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Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the windiest place in North America.
Schenectady Museum/CORBIS

North America's Windiest Place

During a wild storm in April 1934, a wind gust of 231 mph (372 km/h) was recorded by the observatory on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. This wind speed still stands as the all-time surface wind speed recorded in North America and second only to 408 km/h (253 mph) winds from Australia's Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996.

By comparison, of the 35 Atlantic Ocean hurricanes officially considered to have reached Category 5 level, only 17 had wind speeds greater than 175 mph (282 km/h).

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