From the Carolina Coast to the Rockpile!
2018-01-27 16:34:43.000 – Sarah Schulte, Summit Intern
They say there’s a first time for everything, but what they don’t always say is that these first times like to travel in packs. Between my first 15-hour solo drive, first time in New Hampshire, first time staying at a youth hostel and first time living in an area with round-the-clock snow plowing, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of firsts this month. And I haven’t even mentioned the mountain yet!
A windy day on the Neuse River in Havelock, North Carolina
Studying weather at Mount Washington is about as different from my previous experiences as it can get. I’m not looking at sea breezes or rip tide reports up here. Now, it’s snow accumulation, rime ice and winds gusting at speeds that rival those of the hurricanes that spurred my interest in weather.
Growing up along the North Carolina coast brought me into contact with several hurricanes, which meant a lot of cancelled school days. Waking up and learning that you don’t have to go to school is already exciting, especially when you’re too young to really worry about downed power lines and flooding, but when the storm hits and the trees are blowing sideways and the rain is coming down in thick gray sheets, it becomes even more fascinating. Weather held my interest through middle and high school, even as I considered other career paths, and after my freshman year of college, I changed majors from aerospace engineering to meteorology.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Earth and Atmospheric Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in December 2015. During my job search, I came across the internship for Mount Washington. I’d never heard of the Observatory before, but after some research, I jumped on the application and applied twice for the chance to go. When I got the news that I was selected for the winter internship, I couldn’t stop smiling and hopping in place. This is truly a unique experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
This is only my second full day on the mountain, and I’ve already added more firsts to my list (including psychrometer-slinging and TV shows I’ve never watched). I’ve met a crew of awesome people and one cool cat, and I’m hoping for even more firsts in the next few months. It’s great to be here and nice to meet you all!
Sarah Schulte, Summit Intern