2014-05-03 17:18:33.000 – Samuel Hewitt, Summit Intern
After 17 weeks on the summit, it is hard to believe that my internship will be coming to a close at the end of this shift. The past 8 months have been the quickest of my life and I am so fortunate I was able to spend them as an intern for this incredible organization. Besides the extreme weather, the best part about the experience was the wide variety of tasks I was assigned to tackle/lend a hand with. Daily assignments varied, but the main constant was working on my intern project.
From 1932 to about 1950; much of the summit’s climate data has not been converted into digital format. Starting in 1948 and working my way backwards, I have been entering in various meteorological variables for each hour of every day. These include temperature, precipitation, sky cover, wind speed and direction, visibility, etc. One of the big challenges with this project is that early data collection varies from today’s methods. This made the process somewhat of a challenge, however I am pleased with the progress I made towards completing the project. In addition to the project, I was able to learn various techniques in forecasting at high altitudes and in complicated terrain. I also gave a countless amount of tours of the Observatory to visitors, was able to do a few live radio shows, de-iced instruments in 100+ MPH winds, prepared weekend forecasts for a local newspaper and so much more.
An avid lover of extreme weather, as most meteorologists are, I was able to experience phenomena I will likely never see at sea level. The following are some extremes I was able to observe:
1) Highest Temperature: 60 degrees F
2) Lowest Temperature: 26 degrees F below zero
3) Lowest Wind Chill: 78 degrees F below zero
4) Highest Wind Speed: 130 MPH
5) Days With Winds In Excess of 100 MPH: 10
6) A season in which the summit received over 300 inches of snow.
In addition to everything, I was able to work with a great group of people. I was lucky to have so much in common with my shift-mates because it enabled me to fit in right from the start. Words will never be able to describe how much I learned from this experience and what I will take away from it. I am incredibly grateful to this organization for providing me with such a unique experience. If you or anyone you know has a passion for meteorology, I strongly recommend applying for this internship. You won’t regret it!
Samuel Hewitt, Summit Intern