Battle of the Shifts

2012-02-09 19:33:07.000 – Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist


Competition is everywhere, even on New England’s highest peak.

We’re occasionally highlighting the competition between good weather/bad weather shift, cold weather shift vs. warm weather shift, etc., in our web comments. Both shifts consistently compete for the observation of the wildest weather of the season, in particular, the highest wind gust. So far our shift retains that honor with a gust to 129 mph a few weeks ago.

As for cold weather vs. warm weather shift, it would seem as though neither crew has the rights to these monikers this season, considering the mild nature of the winter currently embracing us. However, analyzing this battle in the relative context of this mild winter, the numbers are fairly even. The opposing shift had the early edge, witnessing the coldest readings in October and November of 8F and 7F, respectively. Since then, our shift has taken over, recording the coldest readings in December (-14F) and January (-17F). And although our counterparts have seen the coldest temperature so far in February (-7F), that will almost certainly change this coming weekend, as models are hinting at the intrusion of an arctic air mass.

Next, I’ll take a leap here and distinguish our shift as the windy shift this winter. Considering the frequency with which we’ve witnessed high wind events, I feel comfortable in giving us this title. Out of the top 5 gusts of this middle-aged winter season, our shift has been atop the summit for four of them. The list is as follows: 129 mph (January 18th), 122 mph (December 29th & January 28th), 120 mph (January 27th), 117 mph (December 8th-witnessed by the other crew), 116 mph (December 16th). We’ve also witnessed the windiest day of the winter on January 18th, with a 24-hour average of 82.9 mph.

On the other hand, our counterparts can most certainly be given the title of snowy shift. They’ve witnessed the top three highest 24-hour snowfall periods: 9.4 inches on December 27th-28th, 9.9 inches on November 22nd-23rd, and 10.1 inches on October 29th-30th (remember that big early season snowstorm?), and also bore witness to the first measurable snowfall of the season, with 0.9 inches coming on September 15th-16th.

There’s still a lot of winter left on the rockpile (at least two months), so statistics could swing either way in any category. Until then, we wait and hope for the next big weather event to grip the summit.

And on a side note, in the spirit of what many consider the ultimate competition in the U.S., I cannot resist stirring some trouble and giving my two cents in opposition to a certain MWO forecast that was given out via facebook last week. I’m speaking, of course, of MWO’s forecast for the super bowl, which was an utter bust. I could not have been happier, though, being a central New Jersey native.

In that sentiment…nothing was sweeter than seeing the NY football Giants defeat the Patriots again, in thrilling fashion. Way to go Giants, Super Bowl Champs!


Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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