Fun with convection!

2009-04-28 15:55:24.000 – Ali Boris,  Summit Intern

Mike observing convection (and some higher clouds)

Yet again, we’ve seen a dramatic change in weather up here on the summit in only a few hours. This morning, convective clouds began building near the summit after a nice, blue day and warm night. I followed Mike out to do a couple of observations since I’m working on figuring out cloud heights and approximate cover (few, scattered, broken, overcast). Marty, in turn, followed us, scampering from rock to rock in an effort to keep from being blown away. He has now retired to the cushy, rolly chair next to me.

The forecast this morning warned of a slight chance of thunderstorms, which I continue to keep my fingers crossed for. During a distance learning conference yesterday, Brian mentioned that the thunder up here is extremely loud, and showed a picture of the mountain with a bolt of lightning. After also watching an episode or two of Storm Chasers a few days ago and returning to my alma mater in the Midwest recently (yeah, Knox!), I’m itching to experience an electrical storm up here.

As we passed into the fog this afternoon, we watched from the windows of the weather room as the clouds curled ever closer with downdrafts. They speedily moved from the west up the mountain, and past the observatory. Mike, his mom (the volunteer this week) and I went up to the deck to enjoy the wind and see the changing conditions. We stood at the edge, looking west, and let the clouds fly at us. The winds were around 50, gusting to 60 mph – enough to let the winds hold our weight and let us run down the deck at super-duper speeds. I’m thinking super-hero theme with helmets and capes for the next ObsCast,who’s with me?


Ali Boris,  Summit Intern

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