2008-08-04 16:44:07.000 – Jim Salge,  Temporary Observer

Incessent wall of cloud…

Well, it may sound strange, but I couldn’t have been happier to see the thick, soupy wet fog completely enshrouding the peak this morning. It meant that finally, after an almost unparallel bout of indecisiveness, the mountain had made up its mind. Since Thursday, clouds have ebbed and flowed over the peak in a cycle that was at most measurable in minutes. Often a bank of clouds would completely surround the summit leaving the tower in clear air, followed by a downpour seconds later, and then fog for about 15 minutes … and repeat. The strangest part about this was that, by Mount Washington standards, it all happened in slow motion. Winds never exceeded 40 mph for the period, and rarely exceeded 20.

For the observer at the station, this pattern offers little relief. All of the changes in the changeable weather must be reported, which causes frequent tower climbs to check visibility, and outside to see if it has started raining … or stopped raining … or started again. Therefore a good day of total fog … straight through, with no breaks … is welcome to the crew.

So far this month, we’ve received half of the normal rainfall for August…in all of four days. Looking at the long range pattern coming up, the unsettled weather looks to continue. And with rivers already high, and stream crossings on the trails becoming dangerous, we all urge care when recreating in the Whites this week.

In other news:At 7PM Wednesday evening, August 6th, the Subaru Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science series continues at the Weather Discovery Center in North Conway.

This week we’ll talk with Lance Roth, a meteorologist and science technician at the South Pole live via video conference. He will introduce you to life at the South Pole and his work examining the Aurora Australis.

Admission is FREE but seating is limited so be sure to get there early. Refreshments will also be served. Thanks goes out to Subaru of America, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – North Country region and 93.5 WMWV for helping to make this series happen!


Jim Salge,  Temporary Observer

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