In Need of Change

2008-04-05 16:20:03.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

From FZFG to BKN///

This mountain is a very inspiring place – it is unfortunate that now is not one of those times for me. I’ve been trying to think of something to write, but not much is coming. I’m experiencing one of those rare “more of the same” feelings. Observations come every hour, and I go outside to make sure that things are as they should be…the continued formation of rime and glaze ice on the instruments needs to be knocked off again, freezing drizzle is still blowing at 45 miles an hour, and I can see a couple hundred feet in any direction. The sun is dimly visible now, so things are thinning above us. I’m looking forward to breaking out of the fog. Coming in, I set to work submitting the observation and working on various projects. I’ve finished gathering information from the 80,000+ hours the observatory has recorded blowing snow since its beginning for Ryan’s project. I try to work on the determination of our real wind (wind speed adjusted for temperature and pressure), but find I am missing a critical password, so I’ll have to be making some phone calls. Soon an EMS climbing trip will arrive and I will get to socialize with these folks after I’m done my 12-hour shift at 4:30 this afternoon, much the way I spent last night with an IMCS climbing trip last night and an Edu-Trip the night before that. Do we get lonely up here? Not likely.

And how ironic that as I write this, Stacey has just come in from the 1300 synoptic and ordered me to climb up the tower. It seems just as I needed a change, it is coming. Climbing to the parapet, I see what I could not see from the weather room or even the observation deck. The clouds are wisping over the summit, primarily obscuring it in fog, but occasionally breaking enough to allow us a glimpse to the undercast a couple hundred feet below. It stretches indefinitely far, but the view is so ephemeral. The sun is more persistent and it is a pleasant sight to see my shadow. The power of sunlight on the human spirit continues to amaze me. A positive change is nearly instantaneous. It looks like we’re going to have clear skies and light winds for the next couple days, so things are looking good. Spring seems to be slowly but surely making its way to the summit. For the near time, we’ll hope that the clouds will descend a bit more before sunset and provide us a gander at the undercast uninterrupted.

Actually, I’m now just about to get off shift and the clouds have indeed descended. I’m off for a hike!


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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