Friday the 13th

2009-02-13 16:30:25.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

Bad Luck Kitty!

To some people the calendar reads February 13, 2009 but to others it is Friday the 13th, one of the unluckiest days of the year. To the superstitious, they avoid walking under ladders, broken mirrors, cracks in the asphalt, and black cats in their paths. Most of these are easily avoidable for us except for the last one. The summit cat, as most of you know, is a black cat that can sometimes be erratic on his path from one point to the other. So, it is like a weird dance where Marty goes left and I go right kind of like similar polarities on a magnet. I am not trying to make him feel bad but I am not taking any chances especially since I already had as much bad luck as I can handle in the last month.

The last three weeks, I was on sick leave giving me an unexpected and unwanted vacation from work. I don’t want to go into my personal life much but to give future visitors peace of mind, do not worry, what I had is not contagious so you are safe. What is interesting though is to see how things have changed in the three weeks I was off. When I left January 21, sunrise was at 0708 and sunset was at 1645 providing a length of day of 9 hours 37 minutes. When I returned on February 11th, sunrise was at 0645 and sunset at 1714 with a length of day of 10 hours 29 minutes. This means we have gained almost an entire hour more of sunlight. And the earlier sunrise means the tail end of my shift is starting to get alpine glow and it is only a matter of time until I get to watch sunrises again.

As for the weather, temperatures were averaging 5 degrees Fahrenheit where as now they are averaging 6 degrees. Not a huge jump but it shows that we are getting over the cold hump and are now heading towards warmer weather (unfortunately). Another thing that changed is Marty’s fur cover. We had started him on a new diet to regrow fur and it seems to be working as now he is getting thicker coverage back, looking like a Rogaine commercial. I missed doing monthly check for the first time in well over a year leaving it to our new Staff Meteorologist on the other shift, Mike Carmon. There are new posters, new books, new games, new movies, and other new items that I keep saying ‘That wasn’t here last time, right?’ Three weeks may not be a long time to most but at a place where weather can change from hour to hour (if not minutes), three weeks feels like a really long time. But while I am talking about variability and the number three, let’s talk about the weather this holiday weekend.

If today was the only day that you could hike this holiday weekend, Friday the 13th is living up to its bad luck reputation for you. Temperatures were well below 0 and winds have been gusting over 100 mph for most of the day. This would have mad hiking not that ideal making you think ‘This is not my lucky day.’ Looking ahead over this three day weekend, things are expected to change and improve. Winds will be high tomorrow but downward trending and temperatures are expected to slowly nudge up towards the end of the extended weekend. If you did not consult a forecast of any kind, that is unfortunate because you would have discovered that if you had just waited, you would have lucked out as you would have seen the weather would have improved. But, regardless of which day you do hike though, I wish you the best of luck!


Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

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