|CDC Public Health Image Library/Wikipedia Commons|
- Alta-Mt. Baldy - 96 mph
- Logan Summit - 78 mph
- Deer Valley Mt. Baldy - 75 mph
- Powder Mountain - 75 mph
- Alta-Collins - 73 mph
- Ogden Peak - 71 mph
- UT30 - 65 mph (appears to be highest gust at lowland station)
- Curlew Junction - 63 mph
- Utah Test and Training Range (TTU) - 61 mph
- University of Utah - 57 mph
Thus, there is little doubt that it "blew like snot" yesterday. However, in saying that, I'm speaking metaphorically and not scientifically. In reality, there are wide-ranging estimates for the speed of snot, with Mythbusters producing a humorous 35-40 mph estimate. And, like the speed of snot, wind speed and gust reports are also subject to some uncertainty.
Amongst the concerns are: (1) instrumentation accuracy/error, (2) averaging frequency and duration, and (3) representativeness error. These issues become particularly important when cross-comparing across stations that have different sensors, processing algorithms, and exposures.
For example, can we say with absolute certainty that Alta-Mt. Baldy had a stronger gust yesterday than Logan Summit? The answer is no. With some mental gymnastics, we could estimate how likely it was that Alta-Mt. Baldy had a stronger gust, but that is the best we can do.
The bottom line is it is good to remember that "all observations are bad, but some are useful."