2008-05-18 17:00:25.000 – Kyle Paddleford, Meteorologist
The picture at the right was taken around quarter of four. Virga (precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground) had begun to surround the summit a few minutes earlier and it was closing in fast. It resembled a shower curtain in mid battle between the hot steamy air within and the colder drier bathroom air, pulsing back and forth in a wavelike fashion. Would it be rain or snow? It was still too far away to tell. A hiker walked around the observation deck looking at what was coming and pondered his next move. He started on his way just as the clouds began to spit snow at us. Luckily the snow was very showery and visibility was still high, giving him a chance to get below treeline before the fog rolls in.
After weeks of mostly warm and dry weather the mountain gave us a quick glimpse this morning of what can happen even during summertime. Temperatures slowly crept below the freezing mark and glaze ice started to accumulate on everything. There was by no means a major accumulation, no broken instruments, no death defying walks around the obs deck, no extreme winds or wind chills, and nothing typical of mid-winter, but just the important reminder that you must be prepared for any and all conditions. As is with most things in life, planning is the key to success. Just now two hikers came about looking for a place to stay overnight, and again, luckily visibility may cooperate a bit longer and there is enough daylight for them to get below treeline.
I expect the mountain to become obscured by fog tonight and the snow showers to continue. Next time the mountain emerges to greet your eyes, you will find it a different color that will be reminiscent of months past.
Kyle Paddleford, Meteorologist