2006-05-07 16:40:42.000 – Tim Markle, Chief Observer
The Summit from Rime-Covered Cog Tracks
As of late, the weather atop the summit seems to have the same 12 hour shift as the two observers…
Such was the case yesterday when the cold front pushed through just after 4pm. Temperatures quickly dropped below freezing as moderate bursts of sleet and snow fell. The thick fog which had only rolled in a couple hours prior now was enveloping the summit in a clear coating of ice. Jim had the pleasure of having to de-ice this coating of glaze ice away from the instruments about every half hour or so. He also was the one who had to get the precipitation can at midnight in winds nearing 80 mph. This may be standard procedure in the winter, but this shift has been spoiled with temperatures in the 40s since Wednesday.
I awoke to the whistling of the wind outside and pieces of broken rime hitting the bedroom window. Walking up the tower to the weather room I figured I would begin the wintertime chores where Jim left off. Instead I was greeted by the sun for my first observation! The fog was departing, and revealing a whitened landscape. Within a half hour the fog was completely gone. There were a few clouds below the summit, but most importantly the sun was shining and already melting away the rime, even with temperatures in the teens. By afternoon, the temperature had jumped into the mid 20s and the wind subsided to 25 mph. It was a classic summit spring day!
In the end, the last 24 hours were merely a reminder that the spring season is often a bumpy transition from the extremes of winter to the tranquility of summer.
Tim Markle, Chief Observer