A Glimpse of Cooler Weather

2020-08-24 16:07:36.000 – Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist


Earlier in this shift, the overnight lows were dipping into the mid-30s. Morning observations were a bit more brisk than what I have been used to since being back on the Rockpile. While Mount Washington never truly gets “hot” the warmer summer conditions have been spoiling me! Recently, when going outside for our hourly observations we can simply walk outside in whatever light jacket we were wearing already. However, the cooler morning observations had me wearing gloves, ear warmers and an extra jacket! It was a nice glimpse into fall conditions and got me excited for colder days ahead.

Nicole in front of Snowcat Figure 1: Nicole Tallman in front of the snowcat before shift change during her internship. 

During my internship back in 2017, I was able to experience early winter conditions before my time on the mountain ended in December. Some aspects I am excited to experience again are snowcat rides to the summit, rime ice covering all exposed surfaces and the feeling of having the summit all to myself.

Rime on Tower 

Figure 2: Rime ice covering the side of the Obs tower. 

Living on the summit through winter on Mount Washington is like living on another planet. Rime ice covers the observation tower and about everything else touched by the fog. I have two very opposing memories of winter on Mount Washington; the first being violent winds socked in the fog with ice growing at rapid rates, and the other being crisp clear air with 130 mile visibility and calm winds. Both versions of winter are something I look forward to more than anything!

Snowy day 

Figure 3: A snowy day in winter! 

Summer comes with its perks, one of which being my favorite weather conditions of thunderstorms. However, nothing compares to winter on the summit. I look forward to the higher winds, cooler temperatures and feeling of having the mountain all to yourself. Until then I will get excited with every glimpse into winter that I can get. I may even get another glimpse of cooler conditions tomorrow night!


Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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