Notes from a new Intern

2012-05-12 19:31:26.000 – Christopher Gregg,  Summit Intern

Lenticulars building south of the summit.

As a new comer to the Mount Washington team, the past few days have been phenomenal for this intern. Coming up to the summit on the auto-road this past Wednesday provided some excellent views of the surrounding scenery with a slight undercast dancing along the surrounding mountainsides. After reaching the summit, meeting the crew, and familiarizing myself with the observatory, my week began.

Following Wednesday, the summit was enveloped in a seemingly ever thickening layer of fog. While helping out with tasks around the station, as well as tagging along with observers during a few of their hourly measurements, temperatures continued to fall and wind speeds began to increase. As a meteorology student who just came up to Mount Washington from a school in Florida; this was a chilly, shocking, yet refreshing twist to what I’m used to. No matter how often you study different climes that exist simultaneously in the classroom, nothing quite compares to sunning yourself on the beach with friends, then a little over a week later walking across a frozen observation deck in thick fog with winds forcefully scraping past your body.

Come Friday, the windows of the observatory were caked in a nice layer of rime ice, while fog and wind ripped by just outside. Early in the morning, I went outside to the top of the observation tower with one of the observers, Roger, to clear the instruments of ice and remove one of the anemometers as conditions were becoming unfavorable for the particular device. The experience was one of a kind; taking a crowbar and beating a part of the metal rail getting it to vibrate enough to crack the ice enough so you could peel it away from railings and instruments. Eventually, the fog lifted providing the summit crew with a view of a fantastic sunset. One of the observers, Ryan, and I went to the observation deck and began to furiously take photos in the wind. His experience taking pictures in those kinds of conditions really showed in his results (one of the photos is on the facebook page).

Today was quite windy with mostly clear skies for the majority of the day. The summit was visited twice today by a pair of diesel cogs bringing quite a number of people with them. It nice to see families and friends coming onto the observation deck battling against winds that were flitting in and out of the lower end of what would be found in a category one hurricane. Everyone that was out there was smiling, if not, the wind was pushing the skin on their face into something that would resemble a smile. A few lenticular clouds have been popping up over the Presidentials this afternoon making a wonderful sight. As put earlier this week by one of our observers, ‘It’s really beautiful here when it’s beautiful’.


Christopher Gregg,  Summit Intern

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