Anna & Tatiana

2008-10-27 16:47:29.000 – Mike Carmon,  Summit Intern

Anna & Tatiana

Have you ever flown halfway around the world and been dropped into an environment where you know no one and don’t speak the language? If so, then you probably have a sense of the feelings of two of our newest visitors to the summit—Anna and Tatiana. They are from the Solovetsky Islands, located in Arkhangelsk, Russia. Tatiana is a meteorologist, and Anna has been nice enough to interpret for her.

It has definitely been quite a learning experience explaining our methods and operations to Anna and Tatiana. One doesn’t realize how much is taken for granted having lived in the same country for one’s entire life. When I give a tour to a group of members, I never think twice about the fact that they know how strong 100 mph winds are, or know how cold 10 degrees Fahrenheit is, or know how to find New Hampshire on a map. But during this past week with Anna and Tatiana, I’ve been reminded that most of the rest of the world doesn’t use mph or Fahrenheit, so they have no sense of how significant our numbers on the summit are until they can put them into terms they are accustomed to. It is a barrier that many of us never come up against.

Nevertheless, I’ve definitely enjoyed explaining what we do up here at the Observatory and how extreme conditions can get on the summit. They’ve tagged along for some of the observations I’ve done, and I’ve also helped explain what some of the instruments we use up here are and how they work. We’ve also made sure to call them up if there was something noteworthy to see, such as the sunset I talked about a few days ago or the impressive undercast on Sunday morning. In turn, they have filled us in on how they operate and how the weather is like back in the Solovetsky Islands. We’ve even sampled some Russian cuisine. It’s fascinating to get a taste of how things are outside the borders of the US.

At the week’s onset, it didn’t appear that they would be able to witness the extreme conditions of Mt. Washington for a while, because, as Brian alluded to in yesterday’s comment, our shift seems to be the bearer of good weather. However, the weather looks to become very interesting tomorrow. Winds could kick up to over 60 mph (27 meters per second) and temperatures look to be dropping below freezing, which will most likely give us some snow later tomorrow. It could subsequently get much worse than this, but it’s still too early to tell. Hopefully Anna and Tatiana will get a nice taste of a typical Mt. Washington winter day (along with those of us who have already been here for a couple months and have yet to see such a day!).

Observer’s footnote: This Tuesday, October 28th, the observatory will be holding a fund raiser at Flatbread Pizza Company in North Conway, located across the street from the Weather Discovery Center. A portion of the proceeds from every whole or small pizza sold from 5 pm until closing will be donated to the work we do at the observatory. So you get great pizza while supporting your favorite organization. Bring a friend or if you cannot make it, please tell someone who might be able to attend. We look forward to seeing you there.


Mike Carmon,  Summit Intern

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