A wet day

2009-03-29 18:06:51.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist


Typically, I enjoy having an excuse to go outside every hour when I am the observer on duty. In fact, this is one of the things I like best about my job. Today was an exception; I was not the least bit disappointed to finish out my shift of the hourly observations at 5 p.m.

The reason was the weather. A large batch of precipitation moved onto the summit around 8 or 9 o’clock this morning. It started as plain rain with temperatures hovering just above freezing, but a couple hours later temperatures dropped to around 30 and the precipitation increased in intensity and obviously changed to freezing rain. Despite the near freezing or below freezing temperatures, this first round of precipitation (there is more coming tonight and tomorrow) all fell in all liquid form.

As I’m sure you can imagine, rain or freezing rain coming down at a moderate intensity and being blown around by 30 or 40 mph winds ends up soaking one’s outerwear pretty darn quick. Luckily we have good Gore-Tex gear from our friends at L.L. Bean to keep us dry underneath, but that still doesn’t change the fact that on the outside we get soaked.

Now getting to the point, here’s why I was happy being done with my observations. So, we come in with our outerwear soaking wet on the outside and, sure, it dries out, but usually just in time to head out for the next hourly observation and start the cycle all over again. I know, this may seem like a small thing (and in the grand scheme of things, it is), but trust me, it gets a bit obnoxious after several hours.

Luckily tomorrow will be a different story. Temperatures will drop through the night and into tomorrow, changing any remaining precipitation back over to good ol’ snow. In addition to not having the problem I had today, as Ryan mentioned in his comment yesterday, we have been experiencing a bit of snow drought this month and could definitely use some of the white stuff!


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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