High Winds and Lenticular Heaven
2014-07-06 19:41:25.000 – Caleb Meute, Summit Intern
Stacked Lenticular Clouds
As Hurricane Arthur moved off the coast, high pressure returned in its wake which really blew my socks off. Perhaps I should say shoes because that is actually what literally happened. Last night the crew and I went outside to watch the sunset. Upon making it to the deck, our winds reached a sustained 75 mph which gusted to 85 mph. I thought that I would be fine to wear my moccasin slippers outside, as I would just be standing still looking at the sunset. Well, that ended up being a bad decision although for the hilarity of it, a good one. I was back pedaling with the wind when a gust displaced my feet halfway out of both moccasins. With calm winds I would simply readjust, however with 75 mph winds, you get thrown onto your back and into a backwards somersault kicking your shoes off in a fit of joy. Thankfully, I caught one, and a brave AJ sprinted across the deck rescuing my second one before it was sent spiraling off into oblivion. By ‘oblivion,’ of course, I mean Tuckerman Ravine. Side-note, with 75 mph wind at his back and in full stride, I think AJ would have outrun Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt is fast, but lightning bolts are faster. They are also dangerous which everyone needs to remember. Severe thunderstorms rolled through on Wednesday giving the summit a pretty great light show. When thunder roars, go indoors! For this particular storm, people were seen taking pictures under a METAL communications tower on the summit. This is immensely dangerous and just about the worst place to be in a storm, especially when you are on this summit immersed in the storm cloud. Lightning has been reported as striking up to 50 miles away from a parent storm cloud so it is extremely important to always be aware of where a storm is in reference to you.
Due in part to today’s strong winds on the summit, beautiful lenticular cloud structures were seen across the skies. Lenticular clouds form when moist air is propelled upward over a mountain. This rising air condenses as it cools and forms what resembles clouds in the shape of a lens. In today’s case, they resemble stacked dinner plates. My phone is growing increasingly frustrated with me, as I continue to take around 100 pictures a day, but it will be worth it in the long run!
Caleb Meute, Summit Intern