2012-03-05 00:13:55.000 – Brian Clark, Weather Observer/Education Specialist
Snow crystals on our snow board
Today was one of those days that the mountain didn’t care what we had written in our Higher Summits Outlook. Instead, it just did what it wanted. All the forecasting information pointed to another day in the clouds with some snow showers likely. The model data also suggested decreasing winds, but still remaining moderate by summit standards. Unfortunately, for forecast verification purposes. only the snowfall ended up actually happening.
In the course of just a few hours. wind went from those moderate speeds to below 10 mph, where they would remain for pretty much the rest of the day. It feels like it’s been forever since my shift has had a truly low wind day, so that alone made it feel about ‘odd’ outside. Then, just as I was starting to take observations for the afternoon, the fog cleared and delicate dendrite snow crystals began to fall from the sky. Now normally, we say that snow is ‘falling’ on the mountain, but it’s more or less blowing horizontally thanks to the wind. In this case, the flakes were actually falling, and to make it even more strange, we were in the clear at the same time. All these unusual things make it feel particularly serene and beautiful at the same time.
Snow continued through the afternoon, increasing in intensity just as we went back into the clouds around 4, and then continuing all evening. With winds remaining fairly light, this very low density snow is actually accumulating outside, which is yet another rarity on Mount Washington. So far we’ve already had several inches fall. This part of today’s busted forecast is actually a welcome one though!
Brian Clark, Weather Observer/Education Specialist