UPDATE: Potential record gust of 209 mph recorded at Kirkwood likely a mistake (Video)
UPDATE Tuesday 7:29 a.m.:
A gust of 209 mph recorded atop Kirkwood Mountain Resort over the weekend was likely not a new state wind record but a mistake resulting from a faulty sensor, the Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting.
The wind recording was made Sunday morning by an instrument at 9,186 feet. If accurate, it would have broken the previous wind record of 199 mph at Ward Mountain west of Lake Tahoe in 2017.
But forecasters now suspect the sensor wasn’t working properly, said Cory Mueller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Mueller said the sensor was reporting high winds during times of low winds, as well as higher humidity than what the area was experiencing, according to the Associated Press
A powerful wind storm Sunday possibly set a record and made Lake Tahoe look like the ocean, with waves several feet high.
A possible record gust of 209 mph was recorded atop Kirkwood Mountain Resort Sunday morning before its scheduled opening. It’s a potential record that wowed forecasters monitoring a cold storm that moved south through the state dumping snow, rain and hail.
The blast of wind was captured around 7:45 a.m. by an instrument at 9,186 feet on Kirkwood south of Lake Tahoe , said National Weather Service forecaster Alex Hoon.
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.”
The previous record was a gust of 199 mph at Ward Mountain west of Lake Tahoe on Nov. 16, 2017.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort closed for the day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication to the Sierra Sun.