2006-06-02 05:19:54.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

Summer clouds and a dwindling snowpack…

Observatory staff has been feverishly working over the past 36 hours to complete the monthly summary and statistics for May. The climate record really depicts the roller coaster weather that we typically see in the true transition month on the summit. The highlight this past month though was the rainfall, which ranks this past month as the second wettest May on record, just behind the epic month of May 1997.

The month of May drew to an end in rather warm fashion, with two daily highs eclipsing 60 degrees, and though not records, this kind of ‘heat’ is rare in May. While the skiing was incredible on the peak just days ago, huge drifts have been decimated, as feet of snow have melted away. Though we haven’t actually seen them through the fog yet, we suspect that the snowfields have taken quite a hit!

As the snow dwindles, thoughts turn to the alpine flowers, which will erupt into bloom in the coming days. If you have never seen this fantastic spring display, it might necessitate a trip up the mountain next week. When observing these flowers however, please bear in mind the fragility of these often rare and/or endangered plants. Be mindful to hike only on designated trails, keep to the rocks and practice leave no trace.

If you can’t make it up for the alpine flowers, perhaps you might want to plan your next visit to the summit during Seek the Peak . This great event is the major fundraiser for the membership supported Mount Washington Observatory, and will take place this year on July 22nd. We hope to see you there!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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