My first week.

2008-02-03 20:03:07.000 – Matthew Morin,  Space Grant Intern

Me deicing.

Hello and thanks for visiting the Mount Washington Observatory website! My name is Matthew Morin and I am the new Space Grant intern who will be spending one week atop this awe-inspiring mountain. This one week shift is just one part of my entire internship. I have another nine weeks where I will be gathering and analyzing data from the Auto Road Vertical Temperature Profile database. This three year data set includes temperature data from seven elevations (1600’, 2300’, 3300’, 4000’, 4300’, 5300’, and 6288’) along the auto road. The goal of this research project it to create a climatological profile of the temperatures at different elevations as well as the climatology involved with any inversions (an increase in temperature with height) that set up throughout the year. Inversions have a significant impact on clouds due to the stable nature of the atmosphere within the inversion layer. Knowing the climatology will give forecasters a better understanding of what to expect for inversion behavior at given time of year.

I must say that I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to intern at the Mount Washington Observatory. I arrived here last Tuesday via snowcat and since then I have gained valuable experience that will help me reach my goal of becoming an Operational Meteorologist at the National Weather Service. After four years of studying Meteorology at Plymouth State University, I am finally applying my skills in a professional setting while working with real-time weather data. I have learned that an observer has a pretty complicated job here on the summit. During this internship, I have shadowed the observers while they perform their daily tasks such as taking weather observations, composing weather discussions, creating 36-hour forecasts, as well as sending out reports. The amount of paperwork needed to take detailed hourly observations is amazing. There are so many forms! However, despite the complexity, I now have a fairly good understanding of the whole process and would love the opportunity to be a full time observer here.

And now, a little weather discussion…
It was another day in the clouds despite the influence of the high pressure off to our southwest. This meant hourly trips to the instrument tower to clear the rime ice that formed at the rate of about 2” per hour. Temperatures started out in the high single digits and rose to the lower teens, which is a bit warmer than what we usually experience this time of year. Snow showers persisted throughout the day thanks to orographic lifting. We had west winds at 30 mph to start, slowing increasing to a current speed of around 50 mph. The peak gust was only 70 mph, which is “light” compared to the 118.2 mph peak gust we experienced yesterday. I am forecasting that the fog will diminish during the early morning hours so I will be waking up early to hopefully get a glimpse of an undercast sunrise, weather-permitting of course.

 

Matthew Morin,  Space Grant Intern

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