He and his colleagues at the NWS office in Reno, Nevada, watched in surprise as wind speeds across the crest of the Sierra Nevada hit 150 mph and kept rising.
“It went up and up,” Hoon said. It could take months for state climatologists to verify the record, he said.
“But the way that the winds did ramp up, it looks legitimate,” Hoon said. “It’s an exciting moment for sure.”
Previous Recorded High: 199 MPH
The previous record was a gust of 199 mph at Ward Mountain west of Lake Tahoe on Nov. 16, 2017.
The storm that caused widespread flooding last week in Washington and Oregon brought a strong cold front to California.
Peak winds from the last 36 hours for the northeast wind event. Winds continue gusting to 75 mph over the Sierra Crest this morning will continue into tonight at similar speeds. Lighter winds in the valleys today with gusts to 30 mph for most locations. pic.twitter.com/lKbQu7MjhE
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) February 10, 2020
Waves Topped 5 Feet High on Lake Tahoe
Waves topping 5 feet were recorded on Lake Tahoe, making it look like an ocean.
Powerful winds downed trees and knocked out power to tens of thousands in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The same system dumped hail in parts of greater Los Angeles and snow in mountain areas north and east of the city.