I know it’s pronounced foliage and not foilage.

2011-10-01 18:42:00.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Color along the Mt Washington Auto Road.

So far this week, two analogies come to mind. The first deals with the fall color change. During our down-going shift change, we all noted how much the color had changed in our week on top. There were a few yellows and a lot of oranges and reds. And when I got home, I could see the changes around Berlin, NH as well. But as the week off progressed, the amount of change seemed less noticeable. It may be because this year’s colors seem more muted and darker than normal but I don’t think that was entirely the reason why. I think the main reason why is it is kind of like watching a pot of water boil. There is a saying that a watched pot never boils; well I think it is similar for trees, a watched forest never changes colors. It is only when you walk away or distract your attention that the pot starts boiling or the forest changes colors. And that seems to be the case. The forest directly around my house seemed to see no change but when we drove up this week, a lot more colors were showing up in an area I hadn’t laid eyes on in a week. So, if you really want to see the color changes in New Hampshire, travel outside your comfort zone and witness the natural fire of fall foliage.

The second analogy comes with our precipitation total for the month of September. When we arrived on the summit on Wednesday, September 28th, the summit precipitation total was 5.55 inches. The normal monthly total is 8.55 inches and with only two days left until October, I thought there was a good chance that we would not be meeting that monthly average. Wednesday was forecasted to stay dry with just some showers expected on the 29th and the 30th. I thought those two days would make a dent in the deficit but nothing else. But two strong bands of precipitation, one on the 29th and the other on the 30th, not only made up our deficit but put us above average by 0.64 inches. The way to think of it is like a class you are getting a D (64%) in. The semester is coming to an end and you have two tests coming up. If you get 100% plus the extra credit, you can reverse that D to possibly a C or better. So, you take each test hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Then you get the first test back with a perfect score plus extra credit followed by another perfect test with extra credit and you find yourself ending the semester not with a D but with an A+. It’s rare but it can happen and that was the case for the precipitation for the month. I wish I could say September ended the month with straight A’s, but with only 0.9 inches out of 2.2 inches for the month the summit clearly failed that subject. But just like a school year, while the summit may have done poorly this month, it still has an entire year to make that up. But Mount Washington, I think it’s time we have a parent-observer conference. So if you could let your parents Mother Nature and Old Man Winter know we need to talk, we can discuss your winters future and some ways in which you might improve…


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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