2008-12-12 14:09:06.000 – Stacey Kawecki, Observer
Free falling temperature
Yesterday’s comment was all about how excited I was for the coming snow, and that we should remain cold throughout the storm. Well, guess who was wrong. This is neither the first time nor the last time a forecast on Mount Washington has been shattered to bits and pieces. It does hurt a little though, and not just because my forecasting ego took a big bruise. While the summit got a little bit of ice, then a lot of rain, the rest of NH got hammered with ice. Over 305,000 are without power and Governor Lynch has declared a state of emergency. There are more outages today than occurred during the storm of January 1998 (information from the WMUR-TV website). This storm was a nasty piece of work, but luckily high pressure will bring sunny skies for tomorrow. Temperatures will be cool, especially in the north, but the calm weather should aid in the clean-up.
On the summit, we see an inch or so of ice on our windows and think nothing of it. I think we summit-dwellers take for granted the strength of the building in which we live. We also sometimes forget that half an inch of ice on long tree limbs or power lines can have a devastating effect. Being above tree line during a storm like this is like being in a submarine during a hurricane. The building is tough, and the ice accrues, but the waves, tree limbs, power lines, and roof shingles don’t smash into our building, windows, or cars. Well, our cars are in the valley, so we might have some devastation of our own to clean up come Wednesday.
The weather is known for changing rapidly in New England, especially on some of the higher peaks. Today was definitely one of those days, as the temperature fell from 31°F to 18°F in just one hour. It will only get colder. BRRR!
Stacey Kawecki, Observer