Dealing with transition seasons

2010-10-29 21:38:14.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist


The transition seasons, by nature, are very volatile. One day can see one extreme, while a few days later sees the opposite extreme. This is the case more so here on Mount Washington than anywhere I have ever been. Then again, this shouldn’t surprise the vast majority of you reading this.

The last two weeks proveide a great example. Exactly two weeks ago, my shift was experiencing the first significant snowfall of the new winter season. By the time we headed down last Wednesday, October 20, snow was piled up to as much as 5 or 6 feet in places along the Auto Road. Fast forward one week later to shift change a couple days ago on October 27. We made the trip from the base all the way to the summit with no chains, no plow, and without a single tire touching snow. This was all thanks to very unseasonably warm air being pulled up by an historic storm passing through the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Although no daily temperature records were broken earlier this week in the heart of this ‘heat wave’, daily averages were running more than 15 degrees above normal.

Now, as I write this, we are back to the other extreme. Temperatures have dropped into the teens, and will continue to drop into the upper single digits by tomorrow morning. Winds gusts will approach the century mark later tonight, and we have measured almost two inches of snow today with the possibility of more snow showers through tomorrow.

This back and forth is hard for me to deal with in some ways, pretty much solely because I want winter to be here, and stay here! It looks like I might get my wish, as long range outlooks seem to keep us at seasonable, or below seasonable temperatures for the next week or more.


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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