2010-06-12 22:29:47.000 – Mike Finnegan, IT Observer
Sunset from Mt. Clay
Mount Washington is an interesting place to forecast for. Well, this is what people tell me anyway. It’s the only place I’ve ever forecasted for, not being a meteorologist. This works out a bit in my favor at times though because I have an out when what I forecast is wrong. I haven’t written the forecast the last two days, but it has obviously been difficult to pin down accurately. Yesterday we were supposed to be in the clear. I awoke to a beautiful undercast which quickly lifted due to solar heating. At one point I stood in the middle of a cloud doughnut, myself on the observation deck with cumulus clouds surrounding me at a 1/2 mile radius, but clear skies overhead. I raced back inside after taking the observation to tell others to get outside, but by the time I made it one flight down we were in the fog. This is where we stayed all day even though the clouds were supposed to continue lifting. Regardless, Ryane, Hanna, Becca, and I all went for a walk down to the Alpine Gardens to see what we could see and did glimpse some clearing.
Today has been the exact opposite. I awoke this morning to overcast skies and a visibility of near 70 miles. As we were supposed to be in the fog all day and clouds seemed to be quickly building in, I took the opportunity to get some last turns of the season in on what is left of the east snowfields. Becca followed me out as photographer and we headed down some slippery rocks to ride in the light rain that was falling. There might not be many turns to make on a 100 foot long patch of snow, but the laps sure are quick! We headed up after a couple and since then have been in the clear with clouds all around us, but ourselves in the clear.
That is Mount Washington for you though – always throwing curveballs. It keeps things interesting knowing you can’t always predict the weather. It also illustrates how one should always be prepared for the unexpected. We do our best to get things correct up here, but sometimes things don’t work as we expect, even with the best resources. First and foremost however we are observers of weather and appreciators of the mountain. As much as I enjoy observing from the summit, it is nice to go explore the rest of this wonderful mountain, whether that be visiting the wee plant people in the Alpine Gardens, riding in the rain on the east fields, or peering into the depths of the Great Gulf.
Mike Finnegan, IT Observer