Improving Weather and Cleanup
2007-04-20 22:05:35.000 – Kyle Paddleford, Meteorologist
What a beautiful day it has been on the summit with temperatures climbing beyond the freezing mark, light winds and only a few clouds to speak of. You would think that this would be a great day to get out for a hike, take a few ski runs in the snowfields, or to just simply catch some rays out on the observation deck. However, it was just the opposite. The gorgeous weather allowed the crew to continue tackling many problems since the storm early in the week that wreaked havoc on communications equipment and weather instruments on the summit.
A large portion of yesterday was dedicated to trying to regain a radio link to the valley which supports our communications, i.e. the internet. After setting up a backup dish and aiming it towards the Mount Washington Center, then aiming some more, and trying again over and over to no avail, I was left pondering what could actually be the problem. I checked all of the connections on the summit, everything was intact but more importantly, there was no water or ice that got into the connections. It turns out that one of the connections down in North Conway had gotten water in it. This was replaced and our link was up and running…for a little while anyways. Overnight, the link went down again and this morning I repositioned our main dish and our link is now 100 percent and healthy. However, this coincided with the summit temperatures going above freezing which is a little suspect. A watchful eye will be on the link tonight when temps dip below the freezing mark again. That was the main source of our problems that did not allow us to update the website, but with the aforementioned link fixed all is well for now (knock on wood).
Today was spent shoveling away the rest of the snow and ice on the parapet, as well as inside the parapet. If you caught the picture from one of the last comments before our communications link went down you’ll know that not only did we receive a lot of snow outside during the storm, we also received a lot of snow inside too. We will have to wait for a little more melting tomorrow before we can retrieve the buried cable that secures our A-frame to the observation deck during the winter months. Again the usual suspects were at work as glaze ice and high winds snapped this cable like a twig. I was however able to retrieve a temperature sensor that had been knocked from its base by a chunk of flying ice. I felt like an archaeologist digging for dinosaur bones and figuring out the best way to remove the sensor from the ice with the most delicate touch.
The crew is picking up the pieces as fast as we can and we thank you for your concerns regarding the safety of the crew and the condition of the observatory during this event. With a little elbow grease everything will be back to normal shortly.
Kyle Paddleford, Meteorologist