By Staff

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (CBS) — A Christmas storm is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and near-record warmth to New England Thursday night into Friday morning. And as usual, the region’s highest peak can expect the most extreme weather conditions.

The Mount Washington Observatory’s forecast says sustained winds should hit the triple digits on the 6,288-foot summit as early as Thursday afternoon – and then they’ll get even stronger as the storm hits Friday.

READ MORE: 'A Step In The Right Direction': Juneteenth A Symbol Of Hope For Many In Boston

“Gusts at this time look to be tapping into the 160s and 170s and some models are indicating that as a low-level jet passes, a few gusts could surpass 180 mph,” the forecast states.

WBZ-TV chief meteorologist Eric Fisher notes that the all-time record winter gust recorded atop Mount Washington is 178 mph in 1980 – and it could be a close call on Friday.

Fisher writes that that a “river of wind” just a couple thousand feet up will be powered by one of the stronger low-level jet streams you’ll ever see this time of year. Click here to read his full Christmas forecast.


MORE NEWS: Parent, 2 Children Rescued From Salisbury Beach Rip Current Staff