Cold, now with video…

2007-03-06 14:49:06.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer


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An afternoon update on the conditions on the Rockpile.

Temperatures bottomed out this morning at -37F, shattering the old daily record of -23F set in 1950. The temperature fell but one degree short of tying the all time March record of -38F also set in 1950. But the real news is that this was the coldest temperature seen on the summit, not just this season, but in over three years, going back to January 25th, 2004. Such a cold air mass so late in the year is truly remarkable, as “Bill O” notes in the forums, it’s like having the hottest day of the summer a week after Labor Day.

Also of note are the winds, which have been ramping up through this event, and while the peak gust, now set at 117mph, wasn’t during the lowest temperatures, windchills have been between -80 and -100F. Extremely chilly, even by our standards.

During the heart of the event, our staff made use of the thermal camera on location courtesy of the students from the University of RUHR. We built a contraption and system to video tape the back of the infrared camera while we threw boiling water into the air, which immediately froze to snow. We also simultaneously taped the event with another video camera, and have put these clips together on Youtube. you can see it here!

Temperatures will continue to warm on the summit through the night tonight, hopefully allowing just a slightly delayed shift change tomorrow, all while the valley’s have their lowest temps, possibly of the year.


Jim Salge,  Observer

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