Living in a Winter Wonderland

By Tricia Hutton

Hi! I’m Tricia, an intern at Mount Washington Observatory.

I am just a few days into my internship at MWO and it has already exceeded all my expectations and dreams. Every day I have stated that it cannot get better than this—and day after day I am amazed. I am beyond thankful that this is just the beginning. I cannot believe I have the opportunity to come back up to the Observatory at shift change every other week through May.

My first few days consisted of near-zero visibility, but I found the fog mesmerizing! On Friday, the fog finally cleared and I had the opportunity to see the beautiful White Mountains surrounding me with a visibility of 130 miles! With this clearing, I saw as far as Mount Killington, Vermont and throughout Maine with beautiful 360 degree views. I was able to go for a few walks in the calm 20-30mph winds. I walked to the summit sign, took a few photos (even though it was iced over), and even got to see the sunset.

I graduated with my Bachelors in December 2023 with a double major in Meteorology and Earth Science from SUNY Brockport. Throughout undergrad I knew my passion was to study winter weather. Growing up in western New York, I eagerly awaited the next lake-effect snow event to occur. I applied to be an intern at Mount Washington Observatory because of the perfect combination of research, forecasting, and of course, winter weather. I have already learned so much from the observers. I am excited to continue learning how to forecast from them and continue growing as a researcher. The observers are extremely knowledgeable and are great at answering my thousands of questions each day. The orographic enhancement for precipitation and extreme wind speeds are tricky to forecast for, but alongside the observers I’m excited to grow as a forecaster.

With my love of winter phenomena—the rime icing, blowing snow, and well-below freezing wind chill, I cannot wait to return. Being up here feels like a dream that I never want to end. As I finish my first shift, I look forward to being back with my family, but of course, I will miss Nimbus on my week off. Thankfully, I will be returning soon!

View looking out on the rime-covered outside of the Rotunda in the fog.

My first trip out to the summit sign under blue skies and low winds!

After shoveling as a group, we watched this amazing sunset!

Find Older Posts