February Thaw

2009-02-12 09:38:18.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

A lot of people out there appreciate a mid-winter thaw. Above freezing temperatures this time of year bring a break from the cold and allow people to get outside to do things they either can’t or don’t want to do when it is frigid cold.

For me on the other hand, these respites from the cold are most unwelcome.

First of all, I love winter. In fact, it is by far my favorite season. I love the way the mountains, and the valley for that matter, look with a blanket of white covering them and I also love to use all that white for downhill skiing. I love the cold too. Yes, you read right, I love it. Ok, so every once in a while I get a little annoyed when it is excessively cold outside for long periods of time, but I would take excessive cold over excessive heat any day of the year. As I’m sure you can imagine these are also some of the reasons that I am perfectly at home on Mount Washington for my week long shifts. At the same time, these are also reasons some people I have met through the years have questioned my sanity.

In addition to all that though I am a firm believer that during any given season the weather should be, well, the way it is supposed to be during that season. In New England, winter should be cold, summer should be warm, fall and spring should be somewhere in between.

I write about this subject because we have been in the midst of one of those winter thaws up here on the summit. Yesterday saw a high of 34 degrees which, although not record breaking, is certainly well above normal for this time of year. This also happens to be the first time the temperature on the summit has risen above freezing since December 28. I would have preferred to keep that streak going.

The good news is that temperatures have already fallen back below the freezing mark this morning and will continue to fall into tonight, bottoming out around 5 below. Rain has changed over to snow and ice pellets (which feel absolutely lovely when they slam into your face at 50+ mph, our current wind speed).

Looks like it’s back to winter as usual on Mount Washington.

 

Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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