Morning and observations

2006-08-24 18:30:03.000 – Neil Lareau,  Observer

This morning:

Anti-crepuscular rays seemingly emanate from Littleton. Somewhat more ordinary crepuscular rays streak down from the clouds to the east.

Clouds trade places, back and forth, with clear air for occupancy of the summit. The visibility alternates between 100 feet and 100 miles. The air is crisp, 32.4F.

Altocumulus moves by overhead in various undulations and deformations (later in the day I will actually get to classify one formation as altocumulus undulatus radiatus). Fog hugs the river valleys.

The birches have a late summer yellowing green that has started to distinguish itself from the deep coniferous hues of the spruce and fir forest in which they are embedded. Soon they will put forth a dappled array of intense yellow.

Kristen points out that the north slopes and higher elevations of the Dartmouth Range (to our WNW) are starting to hint at red. Historically there is something about these slopes that induces the first round of turning maples. Is it the cold air that stay’s damned against the mountains? Or does it have to do with soil history? Perhaps something else entirely?

It was three years ago on this day that I first came to the summit as an intern, knowing only a little about meteorology. Today, my first full day back after a prolonged vacation, I am struck by the familiarity that I have with the scenes that unfold outside these windows. It has been fun getting to know this place like one knows their back yard. It is amazing what you can learn just by looking; observatory indeed.


Neil Lareau,  Observer

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