2006-08-28 11:11:46.000 – Rick Comeau,  Teacher Extern

Over the last five weeks I have thought a lot about perspective. Perspective as it applies to weather phenomenon. I’d like to share a few perspectives from my observations and experiences during my externship at the MWO.

Below, we usually look up at the clouds. On the summit, we often look across at clouds and more accurately we are often IN the clouds.

Below, fog often appears motionless; fog is fog and seems to just hang in our presence. On the summit, fog magically moves with the motion of air, up and over the mountain tops, creating what is known as laminar flow; observe fog motion, you observe air movement.

Below, rain mostly falls vertically or “down”; On the summit, rain mostly “falls” horizontally and slashes against the observatory windows.

Below, the winds blow intermittently: On the summit, winds often move with a steady force, 40mph, 50mph– hours at a time.

Below, wind gusts can turn umbrellas inside out: On the summit, wind gusts unexpectedly knock you off balance, or cruelly tear one’s toupee from one’s head with its owner running close behind along the observatory deck! Which was the case the other day.

Below, 4th of July fireworks produced deafening explosions and dazzled those who gathered to celebrate with vibrant colors and geometric designs; On the summit, fireworks in the valley appear as silent, gentle fireflies in a meadow of golden hay ready for mowing.


Rick Comeau,  Teacher Extern

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