2006-05-16 13:36:28.000 – Christy Schultz, Summit Intern
One of the side effects of inclement weather at the summit of Mount Washington is difficulty with technology. With the odd weather pattern that has been in place this past week, the wind and moisture have caused internet access to be unreliable and, at times, non-existent. This greatly complicates things for the observers working in the Observatory. No internet means not only a lack of web updates but also no radar, satellite imagery, model outputs, and email. When it comes time to forecast, the observers find themselves back in the situation meteorologists were in before all of these wonderful tools existed – essentially blind to the weather!
Although we are no longer technologically blind, the visibility at the top of the mountain still is essentially zero, as it has been all week. Still stuck in the clouds, thick fog has been present during most of the observations, and today brought snow with it as well. At times this morning when a heavy band of precipitation was passing over the White Mountains, heavy snow fell with large snowflakes. The rocks quickly accumulated a small amount of snow on their windward sides, but did not last much longer than the snow squall. Although the temperature has been flirting with the freezing point today, it has still been above 32 degrees, not allowing the light accumulation to stick around.
Although it’s fascinating to see snow and cold temperatures in mid-May, everyone at the summit is hoping the temperatures remain above freezing, so the instruments don’t need to be de-iced. With luck, the weather will cooperate our internet will stay with us as well!
Christy Schultz, Summit Intern