Make Hay While the Sun Shines

2011-07-15 20:35:46.000 – Rick Giard,  Observer / Educational Specialist

Light Rime Icing at 6288 Feet

In June summer always seems like such a long season. At the summer solstice with Independence Day on the horizon and Labor Day apparently light-years away, we envision endless long, warm days spent exploring the trails, camping with friends and family, or relaxing back at home watching the grass grow. The reality is that summer is much shorter than one perceives. Especially in the rare environs of the Mount Washington alpine zone, where the climate is more akin to the Arctic than New England, it is merely a brief interruption to the perpetual onslaught of winter’s fury. Here the first measureable snow typically materializes in early to middle September.

Wasn’t it only a few days ago that I was perched atop the observatory tower, surrounded by myriad tiny, bright, colorful flashes of a dozen distant, silent fireworks displays? The winter gear in storage has not had a chance to collect much dust. Before coming on shift this past Wednesday I had acclimated to temperatures near 90 with 70+ dew points. Then early on Thursday morning I ventured onto the observation deck to find 38 degrees, dew point 32, winds 39 MPH and wind chill 24. That was around fifty degrees colder than conditions in southern New Hampshire only a couple of days before!

The good news is that there is still time to get out and enjoy Mount Washington, before the ice arrives and the long days are just pleasant memories. The weather outlook for this weekend is excellent – grab your gear and go. Be sure to check our web site first for current conditions and the latest outlook. Happy Trails!


Rick Giard,  Observer / Educational Specialist

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