Night And Day

2013-11-20 23:40:21.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Lake Winnipesaukee as seen from the summit today.

Working nights, I see the world around the summit differently. Cities that surround the summit aren’t identified by their buildings but by their lights. Ski resorts that are identified by white veins webbing the various peaks during the day are alternatively identified by the lights that line a handful of their runs at night. The sky goes from a large bowl of blue to a large black backlit canopy with holes punched in it with the various constellations walking across the sky through the night keeping me company. Colors that fill the horizons below are replaced by a vast expanse of black silhouettes during a new moon or flat silver and royal blue during full moons. Bodies of water go from reflecting the golden light of the sun to the occasional silver reflections of light from the moon.

I mention all of this because of the contrasted views that I took in today. As many of you may be aware, Wednesday is typically our shift change day. They are a very chaotic day as various people are coming and going and we try to relay as much information between the two shifts so we don’t skip a beat. In all the chaos, it is the responsibility of the upcoming night observer to cover the handful of daytime weather observations that need to be done during the time of transition. As I am the night observer for the current shift that meant I got to do a few observations during the day today and then my normal nightly routine tonight. So, I got to enjoy the world around the summit in two ways “today” – the large spectrum of the day and the smaller but equally beautiful spectrum of the night.

Observer Footnote:Looking for something fun and free to do in North Conway village Friday evening? Mount Washington Observatory will be hosting Dr. Lourdes Avilés, professor of meteorology at Plymouth State University and author of the new book, Taken by Storm, 1938, A Social and Meteorological History of the Great New England Hurricane. Come and learn about the most devastating storm to ever strike New England, along with the science of hurricanes and the long term effects they can have on New Hampshire’s forests.


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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