First Snow Storm?
2016-09-22 20:01:41.000 – Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT specialist
It will finally be cold enough on the summit this weekend to support the possibility of some snowfall! It has been since June 22 since we have last seen some snowflakes falling on the summit and we will typically see the first snowfall around mid-September and average just over 2 inches of snow in during the month. Last shift I was up we had the first freeze up on the summit with a thin layer of frost that covered everything for a few hours before the sun melted the ice.
This weekend we have the first real cold front of the fall season with temperatures possibly falling all the way into the teens! Even though this sounds like really cold for late September but at this elevation, it is not uncommon. Our record lows at this time of year are down in the low teens and upper single digits!
Right now we are sitting at a toasty 54 degrees which is way above average (39 degrees) at this time of year but the cold front is quickly approaching from the northwest and should arrive tonight. Temperatures will fall through the day Friday but most of the precipitation will be done by the time the really cold air arrives. With the mountain, this does not always mean we will not get snow though. Last year I had busted on an early season snow storm because computer models had all had precipitation ending hours before the cold air arrived. Early in the season the ground is still warm and has quite a bit of soil moisture (though this year with the drought there is not as much soil moisture) which can lead to some upslope snow showers over the presidential range. We had tiny little snow showers that developed right over the summit and dissipated right away but it happened over and over again until we got measurable snow. I believe this could happen again behind this cold front so we could get our first accumulating snow this weekend even though it may not be much!
Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT specialist