2010-03-24 16:55:09.000 – Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist
Wait a minute. Something isn’t right here. Winds are going from 45 mph to 80 mph (and sometimes exceeding 90 mph and forecast for stronger later this evening), visibility is 50 feet at best, and de-icing every 15-30 minutes is absolutely necessary. Could this possibly be the “good-weather” shift? It doesn’t sound like it, not one bit. Well, most would think that this is indeed the “bad-weather” shift, as the weather isn’t exactly good, and it is Wednesday. That would be a perfectly logical conclusion.
It is the wrong conclusion. The “good-weather” shift has officially been marooned on the mountain for at least one extra day. Funny how we had to encroach upon Ryan, Brian, and Mike’s shift in order to experience some challenging wind. How did this come to pass? In the past 2.5 years, only one other time has shift change failed. Sure, many guests have been stranded on the summit for extra nights (always on my shift) and many trips haven’t made it to the summit (always on the other shift), but the odds of adverse weather conditions and road conditions occurring on a shift change day are pretty slim.
So, here we sit (stand, de-ice, forecast, observe) for another day (hopefully only one). Tomorrow’s weather is looking much more favorable. As opposed to the increasing winds, blowing snow, freezing fog and white out conditions the up-coming crew experienced this morning, tomorrow should be clear and warm, with diminishing winds. The challenge tomorrow will be dealing with the snow that will have most likely drifted into the Five-mile grade.
Stay tuned to find out how it all ends! I’ve got to run, its time for dinner.
Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist