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Wintery conditions in White Mountains over weekend included 80 m.p.h. wind gusts

Weather conditions this weekend in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where a 53-year-old Andover, Mass. man died after suffering hypothermia on a trail near Mount Washington, was wintry and severe, officials said Monday.

The Mount Washington Observatory provided details of the winter weather conditions in statements posted to its official Facebook page. Wind gusts on Saturday night had eclipsed 80 m.p.h.

The observatory said Sunday morning that 1.3 inches of snow and sleet had fallen on the peaks over the weekend.

The National Weather Service had reported that temperatures on Mount Washington had hovered at or below freezing for much of Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures at times felt as low as 6 degrees with the wind chill.

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“Icy/snowy trail conditions can be expected in areas,” the observatory said. “If not adequately prepared, hypothermia and even frostbite can occur, especially with prolonged exposure. Winter weather could affect operations on/around Mt Washington and other mountain related operations around NH/ME.”

Late Sunday night, the observatory added that winter weather would be “departing the summits overnight with more spring-like conditions returning in the days ahead.”

By 5:47 a.m. Monday, the observatory was reporting via Facebook that the light coating of snow that graced the mountains over the weekend wouldn’t be sticking around for long. That’s because, the authority said, “seasonal temperatures were expected to return Monday.

Alexis George, a weather observer at meteorologist with the observatory, wrote in an advisory posted to the group’s website Monday morning that a weather pattern known as a ridge would bring the temperatures back up to customary levels for the season. The mercury should rise to about 40 degrees on the mountain by late Monday, according to George.

“The ridge will funnel in drier air on Monday, allowing clouds overhead to clear during the morning hours,” George wrote. “Monday will start with cold temperatures combined with stiff winds, which will make the already cold air feel even colder. Plan to pack accordingly for colder temperatures and brisk wind if planning to travel to the higher summits Monday.”

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George said winds will remain high Monday morning but decrease in strength throughout the day.

“Lingering snow and ice on the higher summits will gradually melt in response to the increasing temperatures,” George wrote.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.