It led to an interesting discussion. In the absence of actual observations on Rainier the only real data to look at is proxy data from soundings...but IMO it's inconclusive which location has a higher mean wind speed with the limited data available.
Hopefully, this won't spur another debate, but if anyone is interested I did some more analyzing of the data on Mt Rainier as compared to the University of Washington data that I have posted in the link below:
Camp Muir on Mount Rainier does have a weather station, at 10,110 feet which is operated by the Northwest Avalanche Center:
Averages for Camp Muir are reported, but unfortunately, although averages are given, the period of record is not. Also, January 12-24 seem to have some weird readings (if those readings are eliminated the January average is actually 14.3F for Camp Muir and -0.3F from the summit. I did not adjust the data).
Here is what I came up with:
Yellow are the actual values for the Camp Muir Weather Station. Green are the interpolated values that were interpolated from Camp Muir to the summit of Mount Rainier. Blue is the data obtained from the University of Washington study.
To interpolate the green values for temperature, I took the weather stations around Mount Rainier and calculated the average temperature change between them for every thousand feet of altitude change (the Longmire station was eliminated due to its location in the valley bottom which is subject to radiative cooling). I applied that calculated figure (14.6F) for the elevation change between Camp Muir and the summit of Mount Rainier.
I compared those values with the data from the University study. The average annual temperature difference between the two was only 0.2F, which is insignificant. Of note, the interpolated winter and spring averages were a little cooler and the summer and fall interpolated values were a bit higher than the University measured values, but this seems to make sense since windy mountain top locations usually experience a bit less seasonal variation than other locations.
The interpolated wind values are only a ball park figure and shouldn't be considered measured values. To get them, I simply tracked the forecasted wind speeds over the past few weeks to come up with a valued difference.
Over the past few weeks, forecasted wind speeds have been 1.25 to 2.25 times greater on the summit of Rainier vs. Camp Muir. I came up with an average of 1.77 forecasted difference and applied that figure to the average measured wind speeds at Camp Muir. Obviously a lot more data is needed and my estimation wasn't that scientific. The interpolation is just wild speculation based on a short time period and forecast and by no means should be considered accurate.
I don't claim the number is accurate, but it was interesting. I plan on tracking the difference in forecasted wind speeds over the space of the next few years.