2010-04-07 05:54:39.000 – Jeff Wehrwein, Former Intern and Summit Volunteer
When my mom and I signed up for a volunteer week at the beginning of April, we expected to catch plenty of winter weather. After all, the famous gust of 231 mph was recorded in April and the normal temperature for this week is a mere 19 degrees. If you have read any of the comments in the past few days, you already know that our expectations did not pan out.
Our shift began normally, with fog and temperatures right around freezing. Starting Thursday morning, however, it felt like summer on the summit. If it weren’t for the abundant (but quickly dwindling) snow and ice on the ground, I would have confused the weather for a week in mid-August. In fact, the high temperature this week (56) was only 4 degrees less than the high on our volunteer shift last August.
Not only were we graced with unseasonably warm temperatures (21 degrees above normal for the week), but the wind was calm and the sun was bright. In the 6 full days we spent on the summit, we saw nearly 60 hours of sunshine, about 75% of the total possible. Considering that the summit is in the fog 60% of the time on average, I’d say that we got lucky.
Though we didn’t really get the winter extremes we were hoping to see, I can’t complain about the weather we did get. While I spent plenty of time in the kitchen, I also spent hours outside in the sunshine shoveling snow, chipping ice, hiking, and skiing. One calm and warm evening we even grilled hamburgers and dined on the deck as the sun sank toward the horizon. Monday night, we were lucky enough to see the northern lights in the night sky along with flashes of lightning from a thunderstorm over Canada.
As always, Wednesday arrives too soon and we must return to our ordinary lives at or near sea level. Thank you to Steve, Stacey, Mike, and Drew for a great week.
Jeff Wehrwein, Former Intern and Summit Volunteer