2017-03-01 22:01:12.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist
There are several reasons I enjoy working here – the weather (obviously), the people, the views (when we have them), Marty Kitty, and so on and so forth. But what I really enjoy is seeing everything around me evolve over time. For some things, the change is quick – vistas coming and going in between passing clouds, deep piles of snow one minute being scoured off the next, or rain at the start of a shift then snow ending it a few hours later. For other things, the change takes a bit more time – the phases of the moon lighting up my night shift or casting it in darkness one shift week to the next, snow accumulating and then receding with the changes of seasons, or shorts and t-shirts giving way to men and women completely covered head to toe in several layers. Going further in time, additional changes take place – new interns, new coworkers on the summit and the valley, or a changing of the guard with our feline buddy. No matter if it is short term or long term, life is continually changing.
I was reminded about change as we were heading up for shift change this week. When we were coming up last shift on February 14th, I later wrote about
digging out our Auto Road Vertical Profile Mesonet site. On that day, we were heading up to the summit after several feet of new snow fell on and around the White Mountains. This resulted in chest to chin deep snow that required a lot of shoveling at each mesonet site. As we headed down on the 22nd, we passed these sites again and all of them experienced the snow compacting and melting making our work the week prior appear less prominent as it took on the characteristics of a wilting Jack-o-Lantern after halloween. After an additional week of warm temperatures, warm fog (a huge snow “eater”), and rain, by the time we came up on the 28th, all of our work was all but a distant memory. With today’s warmth, fog, and rain, I am sure the snowpack has shrunk even further. However, there is a coldspell and some snow expected for the remainder of this shift week. So who knows what we will encounter when we eventually head down next week. In all honestly though, I can’t wait to see the changes that lie ahead, this week and beyond. (BTW, you can track those expected changes in our Higher Summits Forecast
ARVP 4300 ft Snow-pack Comparison – Top Row – Before/After on 2/14; Lower Left – 2/22; Lower Right – 2/28
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist