By now many of you have no doubt heard about the 200+ mph wind that was recorded a Grandfather Mountain. A few weeks back I wrote about how a few wind gusts felt like they were going to blow my home off the side of the mountain that we live on.  We heard from several people about 60mph gusts back on January 24th and 25th, and now we are hearing that the source of some of that wind could have been a piece of more than 200+ mph winds that rocked the top of Grandfather Mountain!

Our friends at THE WEATHER CHANNEL actually paid a visit to Grandfather Mountain this last weekend, but it was prompted because of the fact that the wind that was recorded atop Grandfather Mountain actually exceeded the highest wind ever measured at Grandfather. Winds gusted to AT LEAST 200 mph early on Wednesday morning, January 25th according to the United States Weather Service reporting station which is located on top of Grandfather Mountain .  That broke the previous record of 195.5 mph that was set on April 18th, 1997.

Even crazier is the fact that the anemometer up there has an top limit of 200 mph that it can measure.  However the mountain’s observers said that the needle actually went beyond that limit, leading many to speculate that the wind speeds well exceeded 200 mph!  How much past 200 nobody will ever know.

What Grandfather Mountain staffers know is that the summit’s Visitor Center had excessive damage to it when the wind tore through THREE double-strength, steel reinforced windows and ripped a mantel off of the wall and more.  The winds that morning actually MOVED a 300 pound boulder that was cemented into the parking area up there!

For the record the WORLD RECORD for a recorded wind gust was at Mt. Washington back in April of 1934 when a wind gust of 231 miles per hour (372 kilometers per hour) pushed across the summit of Mount Washington . This wind speed still stands as the all-time surface wind speed record.

Kind of makes you wonder what the actual wind speed was at Grandfather and how close it might have been to breaking the record. Someone needs to get a anemometer with a higher upper limit measurement on it!

I’ve told a few people about how hard those gusts shook my home and now I know there were something special!  Many winds funnel down from off the back side of Grandfather and sometimes tunnel their way through a valley just below my neighborhood and kind of blast their way to the back of my home from time to time. I’m just glad there was several miles and lots of strong trees in the way!

A kind of interesting sidebar and possibly unknown fact about Mt. Washington is the fact that it too has an “Old Man” associated with it and we’re not talking about Mr. Morton!  Grandfather Mountain is famous for TWO profiles of an old man.  One is atop the mountain on a rock face, and the second can be seen from our LIVE Grandfather Mountain Profile WebCam that is on

Mt. Washington in New Hampshire also has an Old Man profile atop its summit.  Interesting how both of these old fellows are true “blowhards!”

Until Next Time!

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.