Forecasting in the Backcountry
2007-10-18 22:14:30.000 – Zach Allen, Meteorologist
A taste of Vermont.
This entire off week was spent backpacking a 40 mile section of the Long Trail in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont. It was a switch from hiking in the White Mountains. The trek went smoothly and was very relaxing. The one thing that was hard to get used to was what the weather was going to do while in the wilderness. A week ago, the question was if the weather was ever going to clear up. The first couple of days were socked in with periods of rain, drizzle, lots of fog, and even some thunderstorms during the night spend in a lean-to with many mice! Once the storm cleared, cold, windy, and frosty weather took hold of the Goddard shelter on Glastenbury Mountain. For the remainder of the trip, the question was if it was going to stay dry. Sure enough it did providing for excellent hiking with cool temperatures, partly cloudy skies, and plenty of fall foliage.
Since I started studying meteorology, I quickly became thankful for the technology that has provided for more accurate forecasts and the ability to access up to the minute data. Not being around a computer for a week was a test to determine how my skills would work out in the wild. It was certainly a challenge to provide a personal forecast to what was going to happen the following day. Now it is back up to the White Mountains where oodles of information can be utilized to make the forecasts for the Mount Washington Valley and higher summits regions.
Zach Allen, Meteorologist