Good or Bad?

2008-11-22 17:20:08.000 – Mike Carmon,  Summit Intern

The end of the good weather shift?

Good things come to those who wait. This shift has been a perfect example of that statement. Before I continue with the rest of my comment here, I should probably clue you in that there is a difference between “good” in the typical sense and “good” in a meteorological sense. I’ll be using both throughout the rest of my comment.

Our shift has been dubbed the “good weather shift” (in this situation I mean “good” as you would normally think of it—sunny skies, warm(er) temperatures, calm(er) winds) since my arrival in August. And I’m sure all of you faithful website surfers have read many a comment written by myself, Brian, or Ryan describing this situation to you. However, things have taken quite an interesting turn for us these past two shifts.

Last shift, we had temperatures finally dropping to normal after starting off the week nearly (but not quite) breaking a record high. We went into the clouds Sunday and didn’t come out again for any significant length of time until shift change day. In the midst of all that fog, we received the most snow our shift has seen yet this winter. After we left on Wednesday, temperatures warmed up and a daily record high was broken by the other shift (the supposed ‘bad weather shift’).

When we arrived atop the summit this past Wednesday, temperatures were right around zero degrees. The next morning, we broke a daily record low (-8, just squeaking beneath the previous record of -7). Things haven’t gotten much warmer since—in fact, the highest temperature we’ve seen since Thursday morning was a balmy 1 degree on Friday afternoon. For the most part, temperatures have remained below the 0 degree mark on this shift. These are certainly some “good” temperatures (from a meteorological standpoint, that is).

The temperatures aren’t the only story. As a matter of fact, they might be the least of what we have to look forward to for the remainder of the shift. The flakes have been flying for a good part of the week, which has allowed me to put my snow-shoveling skills to good use. But what I’m looking forward to the most is the wind. As I write this comment, I’m listening to the winds howling outside—right now they’re sustained just shy of 80 mph, and we had a gust not too long ago to 92 mph. And if the models are correct, they’re only clearing their throat right now. We are fully expecting gusts over 100 mph tonight and tomorrow morning—and hopefully we can top the other shift’s gust to 106 last week.

As of right now, there looks to be an interesting storm setting up on the eve of our shift change. A low pressure system is expected to develop over the Great Lakes and head in our direction. At this time it appears temperatures will remain cold enough to keep the precipitation as all snow for us, and maybe even for the valley. And ironically enough, for the supposed “bad” weather shift, the storm looks to blow through and be a distant memory by the time they arrive Wednesday morning.

So is it possible that our fortunes are changing for the better (meteorologically)? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the mountain brings next shift to make any official changes to our unofficial designation as the good weather shift.


Mike Carmon,  Summit Intern

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