July, anything but calm…

2008-07-06 20:10:36.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

Natalies attempt at pic of Bretton Woods fireworks

July is a beautiful but busy month at the observatory. The summits have finally turned green, the snow packs are starting to dwindle with the observers taking bets on when the Jefferson snow pack will completely melt out, flowers are blooming, and tourist are flocking to the summit by various means to take in the sites and escape the warm valley temperatures. The summit itself has a lineup of events occurring that will be keeping the summit staff busy like the bees pollinating outside. So lets me go through some of these events for you to show you what I mean:

Monthly Summary:I just finished up the monthly summary for June which is fairly intense for a span of two day totaling about 10 hours worth of work in addition to my normal tasks. So what was discovered? For June, the average temperature was 47.6F which was 3.2F above normal with a high of 69 on the 10th and a low of 33 on the 12th. The summit received 10.00 inches of precipitation which was 1.64 inches above normal with a 24 hour maximum of 2.67 inches falling between the 10th and 11th. We received 0.3 inches of “snow” (mostly hail) which was 0.8 inches below normal with the greatest amount in 24 hours being 0.3 inches on the 10th. The average wind speed was 26.1 mph which is 1.3 mph below normal with a maximum gust of only 84 mph from the west on the 10th. There were 3 days with gusts 73 mph or more and 0 days of 100 mph or more. The summit only received 21% of the possible sunshine minutes it could have received. There were 0 clear days, 3 partly cloudy days, and 27 mostly cloudy/cloudy days. Lastly, there were 29 days with fog, 24 days with rain, and 6 days with “snow” (again, mostly hail).

Yearly Summary:A meteorological year last from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. So this means July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. So here is what I found: The average temperature for the year was 28.4F which is 1.2F above normal. The highest for the year was 69F on June 10, 2008 and the lowest was -26F on January 21, 2008. The total precipitation was 79.41 inches which was 22.50 inches below normal. The 24 maximum occurred on October 19/20, 2007 with 2.67 inches. Snowfall for the year was 237.1 inches which was 75.5 inches below normal. Surprising since most locations around the summit had their second snowiest winter on record. There are reasons for this, but I think Brian explained this before in comments on his accuweather.com blog. The most snow in 24 hours was 12.6 inches on December 3, 2007. Our average wind speed was 35.5 mph which is 0.2 mph above average. Our peak gust was 145 mph from the west on March 21, 2008. There were 141 days with gusts 73 mph or more and 35 days with 100 mph or more. The summit received an average of 33% of possible sunshine. There were 37 clear days, 80 partly cloudy days, and 249 mostly cloudy/cloudy days. Lastly, there were 330 days with fog, 133 days with rain, and 154 days with frozen precipitation.

EMS Adventures, Treks & Trails:We had our first group from this new adventure series. They were a great group and we look forward to housing two more groups in the coming months. What these groups get is an overnight on the actual summit of Mount Washington, hanging and talking with observers and summit staff. You get a professional Eastern Mountain Sports Guide that takes you up and down the challenging summit. Lastly, you get a 20% off coupon off EMS gear. If you have been unable to get a space at a hut, are looking for a guided hike, or for a chance to stay on top overnight, this is a great opportunity. For more information, check out their website HERE.

Summer Edutrips:These kick off this week on the 10th and 11th with two more scheduled for July (19/20 and 24/25) and four in August (2/3, 7/8, 14/15, 23/24). For about the price of one night at a nice hotel in the valleys around the summit, you can come up and spend the night on the summit. You get a ride up the summit in our van with a guide who will guide you through our weather, our forecasting techniques, the vegetation, geology, history, and life on top. Some trips include day hikes to surrounding summit locations. All meals are included and you get bragging rights that you got to spend the night on the summit and experience our variable weather first hand far longer than most tourists get to experience. For more information, check out our website HERE.

Subaru Science in the Mountains: A Passport to Science: For six weeks starting Wednesday, July 16 at 7 PM at the Weather Discovery Center (an interactive learning center, and at 11 and 2 you can talk to an observer via video conferencing) located in North Conway, we will be connecting visitors to scientific destinations far and wide via video conferencing technology. Interesting people will be discussing their work in several scientific fields. The first is with the Alaska Sea Life Center. Other locations and people we will be connecting with are: The Space Center, Houston (July 23 at 7pm), Isaac Ginis, Professor of Oceanography (July 30 at 7pm), Lance Roth, Meteorologist located in Antarctica (August 6, 7 pm), the Baseball Hall of Fame (August 13 at 7 pm), and the Seacoast Science Center (August 20 at 7 pm). Admission is Free! So if you are looking for something to do while on vacation or having a staycation (a term for local vacation), come by and experience something new, it won’t cost you anything but it will provide you with a good time.

Summit Tours and Museum:If you come to the summit, be aware that there is a museum and our summit gift shop in the basement. This gift shop offers unique weather gifts and observatory specific gear and all proceeds benefit the weather observatory. While in the basement, you can check out the summit museum which offers a look at the creation, history, and weather of the summit along with our famous “Breakfast of Champions” video. Lastly, we offer a guided tour of the observatory that takes you to the highest location you can get in the northeast (about 100 feet above the actual summit) as well as see what it takes to live and work on the summit. Plus, with every tour, you get and introductory membership.

Interns and Observer Positions:As some or you may be aware, we offer internships on the summit. Currently our fall internship positions are open with a deadline of July 15th. This is open to any major, any age over 18, and anyone seeking a great way to experience the summit. We are lacking a bit in applications, so please help us spread the word by posting in forums (other than ours), emailing people or schools you might know or talking to people who have interest in the summit. Once the deadline is met, we will be interviewing potential candidates towards the end of the month. Another employment opportunity is a position as a full time weather observer. We have started to receive applications and are continuing to seek interested and qualified individuals.

Seek the Peak:Our eighth annual Hike-a-Thon will be taking place July 25-26th. It is looking to be the biggest and best one we have had so far. We have over 250 hikers signed up. If you are one of the first 250 to raise $100, you get a huge goodie bags that have over $100 worth of goodies this year including a Camelbak Hydration System and a Seek The Peak shirt. We have over $11,000 worth of prize packages you can win pending on your fund raising amount. Plus, there is a great after party where you can unwind and talk to some great people. You can still register for free before 5 pm on July 23, 2008. For more information go HERE. I will be hitting the trails this year with all 250 of you so if you see someone on the trails in observatory gear, say hello. If you are not hiking, please stop by the website and sponsor someone, there is still time. If you want to sponsor me, you can go to this link and click the “sponsor me” button on the right. If you don’t trust online sponsoring, but know a hiker, you can donate to them via cash, check or money orders (made out to Mount Washington Observatory). If you don’t know anybody to sponsor but want to sponsor me by this method, send to (by July 23): Ryan Knapp; c/o Mount Washington Observatory, Summit; PO Box 2310; North Conway, NH 03860. I will not be registering for any of the prize packages, so all donations I receive will go directly to the observatory to support the work we do on the summit. I can’t wait to meet and see all of you hikers out there.


Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

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