Another busy and exciting day on the rock pile

2012-10-26 19:49:35.000 – Roger Pushor,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

A view of the insides of the Hays Chart

This morning started out with my normal routine of Observations and Daily Check where we take a second look at yesterday’s Observations to make sure everything that was input to the station records makes logical sense and there were no keying errors. As we’ve beefed up our Input Validation over the past few months the number of minor errors that slip by and need to be corrected has dropped to nearly zero.

The next task was to take advantage of the low winds today to examine the Hays Chart Recorder that records our higher winds and try to determine why, as of late, it decides to stop rotating the chart and thus recording wind speed at random times and for no explained reason. After a little research I found that we may be able to get a whole new clock movement or the existing clock movement can be repaired by a company that specializes in this type of work out in Oregon State. Luckily this particular clock movement was used in a large number of different types of clocks for many years and there is great interest in restoring those clocks by collectors. If you’ve been lucky enough to have toured the Observatory and seen our Hays Chart you probably already know that it looks much like an old fashioned clock except instead of having hands on its face it has a round paper chart that is drawn on by a pen plotting out the wind speed over a 24 hour period.

Now that all of the new electrical switch gear is up and running here in the Sherman Adams building it was time to have our frozen bulk food order come up and get put away. There were lots of boxes of meats, vegetables, cheeses and all manner of other assorted goodies that will be prepared by our Volunteers for us and our Day Trip and overnight EduTrip guests.

Once the food that Slim brought up was all unloaded it was time for him and me to work on doing some much needed repairs on the Winter Vane that serves to give us wind direction during high winds and icing conditions. So down it came from the Instrument Tower and into the shop to be disassembled, cleaned and the bearings replaced before it headed back up onto the Instrument Tower. Once Slim and I got it back up and working smoothly Slim headed down the mountain and Becca and I were left with the task of aligning the instrument so we would get accurate Wind Direction readings. As a testament to how real world experience is put to use every day on the Summit Slim knew from his days in Auto Racing if we took the seals out of the new bearing and cleaned out all of the existing grease with a solvent and applied a much lighter lubricant we could get a smoother operating vane that would work in much lower winds than before.

The last mundane, however very important, task to be done was to fix the door handle on the Observation Deck door with some parts that Slim brought up for us.

In between all that work we did get to enjoy a perfect day at the top of the Northeast where we also broke the daily record of 52 degrees with a new daily high of 55 degrees today.

Observer Footnote – From our friends at the U.S. Forest Service:

The National Weather Service is currently predicting the possibility of a severe storm event to arrive in New England beginning Sunday (10/28) evening and possibly lasting through Wednesday (10/31). The Forest Service is strongly advising against backcountry travel in the White Mountain National Forest during this time period. Extreme caution should be exercised due to heavy rain or snow, possible flooding, adverse road conditions, and falling trees across the Forest during this time period. This message will be updated as forecasts or conditions change.


Roger Pushor,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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