Another Interesting Shift Change

2014-01-08 18:31:44.000 – Michael Kyle,  Weather Observer

Circles Shows Where Data Is Missing

As normal nothing on the summit of Mount Washington goes exactly as planned. As best as we try to keep schedules on the summit the weather always has it final say on what we can and cannot do. The past 24 hours is a prime example of this. Yesterday’s high winds, blowing snow , extremely cold temperatures and wind chill values all combined together making conditions unsafe for travel on Mount Washington, also the extreme weather caused some issues with our summit instrumentation.

As alluded to, our weekly shift change was delayed for a day. Luckily by 8:00 AM this morning the poor weather conditions on the summit began to subside; which allowed us to make our weekly commute, back up the mountain. While allowing Becca, Ryan, Roger, Mike, and the two volunteers to finally head back down to the valley ending their long shift week on the summit. Before this switch could occur the two shifts had to work together to figure out the cause of our Pitot tube anemometer’s temporary failure. Thanks to teamwork and some quick ingenuity we were able to get the Pitot tube anemometer back up and working with only minimal down time.

Even though we tried our best to quickly fix the issue with the Pitot tube anemometer while it was down, we did end up losing some data. The data lost was limited to wind speed and direction as well as barometric pressure. So on behalf of the Mount Washington Observatory I would like to apologize for the temporary loss of the data. These are the kind of issues why the Mount Washington Observatory is manned 365 days per year and 24 hours each day; So that we can take hourly weather observations and maintain the instrumentation that assists us with them. If we weren’t here an issue like the one we saw today would have been much more prolonged and could have possibly worsened over time, which would have most likely lead to more damage or even possibly destroy the Pitot tube anemometer. So luckily we were quickly able to fix the issue and then continue on with our daily routine.


Michael Kyle,  Weather Observer

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