2008-08-15 11:08:51.000 – Jim Salge, Temporary Observer
Clear skies, building clouds…
This morning, the summit has exhibited a classic symptom: summer convective cycles. A clear, cool and most importantly beautiful morning dawned with the full crew and guests on the deck at sunrise. Temperatures dropped back to near 40 degrees, and a light breeze kept a crisp feel to the air. A low fog filled the valleys, but skies at an even level with, and above the summit were clear.
As the sun rose grew higher, the valleys respond quickly and fill with warmth, ‘burning off’ the fog. The now warm air in the valley became buoyant, causing it to rise through the atmosphere and as it did, it again cools and condenses into clouds. The size of the clouds depends on the temperature gradient above the surface.
With today’s cool air aloft, it didn’t take long for these first puffy clouds seen here to build into now threatening storm-like clouds. Again, this afternoon, rain threatens, with strong storms possible. This threat of rain has been persistent throughout the summer, as I’m sure anyone in New England can testify to. And from it, we have seen varied and often extreme affects. Trails and roads have been washed out, streams continue to run high, and now we have an ecological artifact. The forest floor in the Whites, saturated since snowmelt, has become covered in mushrooms. Though the alpine zone is relatively free of fungus, any trail up will likely have you observing some amazing, interesting, and ornate mushrooms.
On a side note, Karl Meltzer ran over our peak yesterday morning. Karl is on a mission to run the length of the Appalachian trail in 47 days. You can follow Karl’s progress on his website whereskarl.com Good luck Karl.
Jim Salge, Temporary Observer