Just Like Old Times
2014-01-25 21:41:38.000 – Michael Kyle, Weather Observer
Some of you might have noticed that our website was not updating the current weather conditions. The black out of data on our current summit conditions webpage is due to ongoing maintenance of the IT infrastructure here on the summit. We are planning to have everything back up and running like normal later tonight if not during the day tomorrow. We will keep you posted if there any unexpected delays while the IT work is finished up.The IT work not only blacks out the data from streaming onto our current summits conditions page, it also causes issues with several of the programs we use to assists us with our weather observations. The most troublesome is the Obs. submission program not working. The Obs. submission program is used to assist the weather observer on duty in the verification and submission of the hourly weather observations sent into the National Weather Service, (NWS). While this program is down, we have to return to traditional ways of not only submitting hourly weather observations, but also measuring some of the variables of the observation. To measure wind speed and direction the two observers and intern all work together. One observer and the intern work over a two-minute period. One of them times for a two-minute period while signaling at a five-second interval. The other manually records the wind speed off the Hays chart for that five seconds interval. This is seen the picture above. Then all the recorded wind speeds for that two-minute period are averaged; which give us the wind speed for that observation. Meanwhile the other observer goes outside to perform the normal observation duties but then when returning inside would have to watch the wind direction indicator for two minutes to estimate the average wind direction. Then finally, the observer would then have to type out the entire METAR, code from scratch and send it to the NWS.
Being a new observer to the Mount Washington Observatory this was the first time I did not have the obs. submission program to assist me with the hourly observations. This was a great opportunity to see how observations were preformed prior to these programs, which we now take for granted. After a day without these programs, I can promise you that everyone up on the summit is looking forward to the completion of the IT maintenance. Probably as much as you are looking forward to getting, the summit’s current conditions page back.
Michael Kyle, Weather Observer