Goodbye Mount Washington!

2006-08-21 09:04:56.000 – Christy Schultz,  Chief Intern

This morning

It’s unbelievable just how fast time really does fly when you’re having fun! A prime example of that cliché saying is this summer: it seems like just yesterday I was driving up the mountain for the first time with Ken, Ryan, and Neil! Snow was still covering the entire summit, and the auto road was so washed out from the spring melt that nothing smaller than a pickup truck would have made it through the waterbars. Leaving the valley to head up the mountain was like entering a different world entirely. Yet after a summer spent up on the Rockpile, it’s amazing how this unfamiliar landscape now feels like home.

Living on top of a mountain certainly changes your perspective on things. Not only are you looking down at the surrounding areas from a bird’s eye view, but after living and working at the Observatory, you take more notice of the weather and almost everything surrounding you. Before this summer, I never really bothered to consider how high the clouds were above me, or what my visibility was. This past semester my cloud physics professor constantly told us to ‘Look at the clouds!’ as we walked to class, but I was always so fixed on where I was going that I forgot to look up. This semester will definitely be different though. If you see a girl walking around Penn State’s campus with her eyes fixed on the sky, bumping into things and people, that will probably be me. After just a few weeks on the summit this summer, my family was tired of my constant analysis of the sky and they are probably glad when I return to the Observatory each week!

Besides having a great time with everyone at the summit and enjoying all the outdoor activities the mountain has to offer, this summer has also been a huge learning experience. Weather observing 101 is not taught in school, so I had my work cut out for me learning the different codes necessary to report the weather conditions, the different rules that accompany each different code, and operational meteorology in general. It’s helped me get a feel for what a meteorologist actually does once they earn their degree and what I want to do once I graduate in December!

I’d like to thank the summit crew and everyone I’ve worked with this summer for making it such a memorable one! I’m definitely going to miss being a Mount Washington Observatory intern and don’t know how I am going to survive back in the middle of Pennsylvania where the highest mountains look like little hills compared to the White Mountains!

 

Christy Schultz,  Chief Intern

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