Extremes hit Eastern US as snow falls in New England and Hurricane Ian nears Florida

Mount Washington Observatory Facebook page screengrab

The crazy weather extremes of the Eastern U.S. are on full display the final week of September, as New England sees snow and Florida’s Gulf Coast braces for a hurricane.

Hurricane Ian became category 3 storm Tuesday, Sept. 27, and could bring life-threatening wind, rain and storm surge to the U.S. mainland Tuesday. The storm’s winds are currently 125 mph.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has been reporting wind chills in the 20s, an inch of snow and ice after sunset.

Weather observers on the mountain shared photos showing everything was covered in ice on Sept. 23, and noted the snowfall is statistically “right on time.”

The contrast in weather has not escaped hundreds of commenters on social media.

“Wow! Kind of weird to see ice while I’m prepping for a hurricane here in FL,” Brooke Longval wrote on Facebook.

“Send some of the cooler weather to Florida,” Deborah Collins posted.

Mount Washington is 6,288 feet above sea level and known to host “the extreme conditions of the alpine zone,” according to experts.

However, the mountain is not above feeling the impact of Atlantic hurricanes.

Hurricane Fiona passed off New Hampshire last week and is credited with causing wind gusts of 100 to 116 mph atop Mount Washington, officials reported Sept. 23.

It remains to be seen how Ian could impact New England, but confidence is growing the storm will cross the Florida Panhandle and head through Georgia and into the Carolinas by late in the week.

Winds of 57 mph to 73 mph are forecast for parts of the Carolinas.

Hurricane Ian is forecast to become “a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” though it may weaken before reaching the Florida coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Regardless of Ian’s exact track and intensity, there is a risk of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of the week,” the center said early Monday, Sept 26.

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