A Mixed Weather Day

2009-05-09 16:18:52.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Interesting Rainbow from Yesterday

It has been a nice mix of weather today. I woke up at 5:30 to find a chaotic sky, with patchy fog in the valleys below, convective cumulus at eye level, several layers of alto clouds, and even some high cirrus to top things off. As the hours passed and daytime heating commenced, the once small cumulus clouds rapidly grew in size, hovering just a few hundred feet above the summit. Clouds were building in fast and it would not be long before they lowered to a level where we would refer to them as fog. Brian recognized this and offered to cover my last observation of the day to let me get out for a bit and make some turns in the East snowfields. He had gone out earlier and found the conditions to be great. I found them the same – a couple wonderful inches of corn snow, continuous all the way to the Alpine Gardens, with a boot pack already in place. I took one run down, then sat down and enjoyed the view and hot sun on my face. After 15 minutes or so, the sun was hidden away by clouds that had been forming all along and I decided it was time to head back home. The clouds were looking rather dark and foreboding and I was getting a bit chilled sitting there in just a t-shirt.

The hike back to the top was interrupted by a long blast of a train whistle, ended by the characteristic two sharp punctuations at the end. Hiking back up the road I saw the cog for the first time this year and the passengers milling about the summit. I strolled on by up to the observation deck and looked through the mist that had rolled in towards the Great Gulf, the edge of which I couldn’t quite make out. Occasional beads of sweat dripped from the hair in front of my eyes and were whisked away by the wind over the edge of the deck. A few more minutes passed and the sound of the whistle was heard once more, urging people back on the train. I decided to head inside as well.

Since then, we have been in the fog. While that’s not terribly interesting, the line of thunderstorms heading our way is. We’ve yet to have a thunderstorm overhead the summit this year, and we’re all quite excited about it. It does limit us a bit in that we can’t go outside to enjoy it, but it is fun to watch the illuminated clouds and hear the loud crack as the towers are struck. With any luck, they should be here within an hour!


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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