Anxious For November!

2009-11-06 00:27:51.000 – Will Tourtellot,  Summit Intern

Snow on The Upper Slopes of Wildcat.

Wednesday I returned for my sixth week as the summit intern and I’m very excited about the month of November. Winter on Mount Washington generally begins in October and ends in May but November is usually when things begin to get very interesting. The average snowfall for the month of November is ~40 inches, while October’s average snowfall is a meager ~12 inches. However, like many folks out there, I’m more interested in high winds and the average wind speeds for October and November also differ significantly. October has an average wind speed of 33.8 mph but November’s average is 39.7 mph! That’s a 5.9 mph difference which is quite significant when we remember that these are averages. I think I speak for everyone here at the summit when I say that I hope this November brings some ridiculous winds! If you’d like to read more about some of this data I encourage you to check out the Normals, Means, & Extremes page. There is also a lot more fascinating weather data to be found under the Weather tab on the Observatory home page.

I don’t recall mentioning this in a past comment but about 4 weeks ago, I had an accident with my new Canon DSLR camera. At about 1:45 AM on Sunday October 11th, as I was shooting some long exposures on the observation deck, the wind decided that it would no longer play nice with my tripod and camera. I was standing about five feet from the tripod preparing to end an exposure with my remote when a wind gust in excess of 75 mph blew my camera and tripod to the deck. Actually “blew” is not a strong enough verb, this gust actually THREW the camera and tripod down at the deck! For the photographers out there, I think it’s worth noting that I had about 15 lbs of ballast on my tripod’s center column hook. This, of course, ended the nearly 3 minute exposure for me. After I gathered the pieces of my broken spirit and my broken camera I strolled inside to find out if I had any salvageable shots and to my chagrin, the coup de grace was awesome! So today, after sending my camera back to Canon for repair, I received an email from Canon to expect my repaired camera to be returned to me within seven business days. Hopefully, by the beginning of my next shift I will have received my camera and have more shots to post with my comments. This is quite possibly the most exciting news I’ve received about anything in quite a while, so I thought I’d tell you ya’ll about it. Even when it seems that everything has gone wrong and a solution seems impossible, “everything” can change very quickly!


Will Tourtellot,  Summit Intern

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