2011-04-15 23:31:24.000 – Brian Clark, Observer and Meteorologist
This shift has been a very eventful one, and it’s not even half over yet. Things were a little ‘off’ right from the beginning, due to Ryan being on vacation. This means that Mike and I do some different shifts than usual in order to cover the overnight shift that Ryan typically works. Over the last several years, when Ryan takes vacation, Mike and I have experimented with several different shifts. This time, we settled on working 10-10 shifts; I work from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. and then Mike works opposite of that. This allows both of us to do some night-time observations, which both of like to have an opportunity to do every now and again. It also allowed me to take care of some Distance Learning programs that I had scheduled for late morning on Thursday and Friday.
Things got really busy yesterday afternoon with the arrival of a production company from Los Angeles that is filming a pilot episode for a show that could possibly air on the Weather Channel. The general concept for this show is a Dirty Jobs (another TV show, on Discovery Channel) for weather jobs. What better place to come than the Observatory for a concept like that? As far as production companies go, these guys were really easy to work with and were generally really nice people. Regardless, this sort of thing has a big impact on us here on the summit since they need us to be a big part of what they are filming. Sometimes it can be a challenge just to accomplish the basic daily tasks we have to do because there is so much going on. It will all be worth it though when we see the final product, especially because I think these folks are going to do a good job with all the great footage they got.
Mother Nature certainly helped out the film crew by delivering nearly perfect weather for filming such a show. Yesterday on their snow tractor ride up, they got to see some views and intersting clouds just before the summit was enveloped in fog again. Winds were sustained around 50-60 mph with some higher gusts into the evening, which is just high enough for some good footage, but not so high that being out in the wind is impossible. Then late last night, fog cleared off and today turned out bright and sunny, but still very cold with temperatures in the lower teens. It’s not that often that anyone that only stays one night on Mount Washington gets to such a wide variety of weather, especially now that we are getting towards the tail end of winter.
Tomorrow will be another busy day, with the annual Tuckerman Inferno Race going on, and our last Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School trip of the year staying over tomorrow night. The second half of our week promises to be a lot quitter, which will certainly be welcome!
Brian Clark, Observer and Meteorologist