2009-03-05 16:34:09.000 – Stacey Kawecki,  Observer

Unrelated to anything, but breath-taking

So, big surprise, Ryan Knapp, Senior Staff Meteorologist, talked about the weather. I guess I’m not really one to talk, considering I love to write about the weather. He also wrote about the cat, the Germans, and his forecasting abilities. That leaves little for me to write about.

So, I’m going to write about our feelings. Right now, the summit staff and a few of our German cohorts are collectively feeling anxious. On a beautiful day, with a nearly calm, high-visibility day, how could we possibly feel this way? Well, it was not even two weeks ago, that fateful day, when the logistical abilities of the staff were put to the test. Forecasting models suggested that it would be fairly windy over Friday night, but that high pressure would quickly build, winds would diminish rapidly, and making it up the Auto Road would be a piece of cake. However, the drifts that formed were impenetrable when combined with blowing snow and the ground blizzard effect. Half of the German group remained on Mount Washington, stranded. Just to quickly recall that Saturday night, an EMS climbing trip did make it to the top, to find a more than full house.

Well, it is Thursday, and we’re looking at the forecast for tomorrow and for Saturday. What we’re trying to determine is which day will be better for snow tractor travel. Right now, we’re looking at the models (fickle as they are) and think that Saturday will be the better travel day. We’re hoping that we’re correct in this assessment. Because, poor Andreas (the professor) is suffering from minor panic attacks at the thought of yet another instance when his students will be unable to make their flights (it is NOT inexpensive to change flights!). In the twelve years he has been visiting the summit, last week was the first time his students (at least some of them) got stranded.

So, I ask, no I beg, all of our readers to keep their fingers crossed and have the utmost faith in our forecasting abilities so that Saturday’s trip up and down the mountain will go swimmingly. Thanks!


Stacey Kawecki,  Observer

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