Beautiful Pictures From The Summit

2014-09-12 17:55:33.000 – Mike Dorfman,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

Photo Stack of the Sunrise

The last week has brought absolutely incredible weather. I woke up and took a glance out the Weather Room window, and it looked like winter! Not in the traditional way of ice and snow, but rather the solid deck of stratus below us, with bluebird skies above. This phenomenon, known to the observers on the summit as an “undercast,” occurs more frequently in the winter due to sinking cold air on the mountains. As this cold air pools in the valley, it forces the air that previously sat in the valley to move upward. This upward moving air then condenses and forms a uniform deck of clouds below the summit. During these events, an inversion sets up, which is defined by air that increases in temperature with altitude.

This mountain is very much like Marty the cat here on the summit – fickle and antisocial around 60 percent of the time, but cuddly when you least expect it. With an inversion and a nearly full undercast in place this morning, the mountain offered its beautiful sunrise views to those up early enough to see it, making for great pictures (and an incredible time-lapse!). I decided to “stack” all the images of the time-lapse together, and the result was an iridescent pink and white flow of clouds over the Northern Presidentials (see attached picture). The clouds themselves were not iridescent, but the layering of the pink clouds over the white clouds gave them that appearance.

The Mount Washington Observatory is leading its annual White Mountains Geology workshop on September 20th. With a fascinating indoor presentation followed by outdoor work at local sites of significant geological interest, this day-long workshop is sure to be interesting. There are only eight spots left, so buy your ticket now before it is too late! We hope to see you there!


Mike Dorfman,  Weather Observer/IT Specialist

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