A Spooky Day on the Summit

2020-11-02 14:16:28.000 – Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist


Working for Mount Washington Observatory’s summit weather station means working shifts of 8 days on 6 days off. Sometimes these shifts are normal weeks and other times they fall on birthdays and holidays. On this most recent shift, my coworkers and I celebrated Halloween atop the tallest mountain in the Northeast!
Pumpkin and full moon Figure 1: The Great Summit Pumpkin looking at the full moon from the rotunda.

Halloween was much different this year for everyone, including myself who has never experienced the holiday in such a remote place! The weather conditions for the day were not spooky at all, rather they were perfect with clear skies, mild winds but crisp cool temperatures. I had packed my costume and kept it a secret until that morning when I walked upstairs to the Weather Room wearing Ms. Frizzle’s dress! As a former middle school science teacher and now Educations Specialist for MWObs I felt this character was very fitting! I always strive to be someone who excites others about science and the fascinating things that occur around them, just like Ms. Frizzle. Unfortunately, I did not have an education program to run on Halloween so I could not truly be Ms. Frizzle then. However, I channel my Ms. Frizzle energy every Monday at 11:15am when I (and my counterpart on the other shift, Nate) host our virtual classroom series from the summit!  
Nicole halloween costume Ms.Frizzle 
  Figure 2: Observer Nicole Tallman dressed as Ms.Frizzle for halloween!
Later that evening we all looked forward to the full moon that was to come. We watched the sun go down while the full moon rose on opposite horizons. The bright orange moon made its appearance against the pastel lit skyline.
Pumpkin by summit sign  Figure 3: The Great Summit Pumpkin by the summit sign.
Later that evening once the sun was fully down, we went outside to find a dark sky brightened only by the full moon in the sky and The Great Summit Pumpkin propped up by the summit sign. This of course made all of us smile! Celebrating the holidays away from home can be a bummer, but the summit crew really knows how to make this place feel like a home away from home.  
Full moon rise on halloween night  Figure 4: Full moon rise on Halloween night with sunset colors.


Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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