Goodbye Summer, Hello Winter – Part Deux

2011-10-12 23:50:06.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Undercast on the drive up.

When I headed down last week, it was snowing on the summit and temperatures were dipping well below normal, even in the valleys around the summit. Since I enjoy winter weather, it didn’t bother me much but it had me looking forward to my flight back to home in California. Usually this time of year, the Sierra’s of northern California are still mild with temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day. But this wasn’t the case, instead I was greeted by over a foot of snow in the higher terrain and unseasonably cool weather. Meanwhile on the east coast, I was reading Facebook posts and weather discussions about the abnormally warm weather that was bringing about an Indian summer. So needless to say, I was a bit jealous that the weather had switched and that I was missing out on the possible last week of warm east coast weather of this year. But I made the best with what I was given as always and looked forward to getting back in time to enjoy the remnants of the blocking high that provided the nice weather.

Unfortunately arriving at 1 am this morning didn’t really leave me much time to enjoy the weather in New England but I did get to enjoy the weather heading our way on my flight back. While flying back east last night, the clouds from the Midwest and eastward were bathed in moonlight from a full moon while several squall lines were spewing a continuous light show of lightning; in cloud lightning, cloud to cloud lightning, cloud to air lightning and even some pockets of visible cloud to ground strikes. It had me glued to my tiny window and probably gave me the appearance of the classic Twilight Zone where the gentlemen kept yelling “There’s something on the wing!” And several times I found myself holding back huge grins and reminding myself to tone down the weather geek in me since I was out in public. But all in all, it made for an exciting view that tore my attention away from my usual reading and ignoring of those around me.

But what was even more interesting was the thought that this weather we were bobbing and weaving around would soon be making its way towards my workplace during my shift week. While I am slightly disappointed that the last hurrah of summer will soon be departing, I am eagerly anticipating winter rearing its head once again. So if you’ve been putting off getting out and enjoying the fair weather, time is ticking because change is on its way. In the coming days, the weather will still be a bit mild although rainy as a warm front swings northward but after this, several cold fronts will be swinging in bringing not only colder temperatures but the prospect of snow on the summits and maybe even some thunder-snow. So, now we play the waiting game as wet and eventually wintry weather moves towards us in the coming shift ahead and shifts us more into a more seasonable weather pattern.


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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