A Glimpse of Winter to Come

2014-09-18 18:57:45.000 – Tom Padham,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist


photo - see caption below
Ice Building Up On The Parapet

As Kyle alluded to with his comment yesterday, this week is our shift’s first taste of winter this season. Rime and glaze ice are currently building up on the summit structures, with more expected through this evening. After spending the summer going outside with only a light jacket on, today was the first day I had to gather up my winter gear and wear a hat, gloves, and goggles before heading out onto the icy deck for a weather observation.

Although this stretch of below freezing weather will be short lived, de-icing season is upon us up here on the summit. De-icing is when the weather observers have to head to the top of the weather tower and knock ice off our instruments. Due to the frequent fog and high winds seen on the summit of Mount Washington, ice can accumulate very rapidly, sometimes as much as 8 or 9 inches per hour in the worst conditions. Observers may then have to de-ice several times per hour to keep our instruments free of ice. Although it can sometimes be tedious, de-icing in 100mph or greater winds can be one of the more exhilarating parts of our job, and something few people get to experience. Looking forward to what this winter has in store!


Tom Padham,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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