2006-03-14 05:04:14.000 – Tim Markle,  Chief Observer

Neil Hard at Work

Spring arrived in many unofficial ways overnight. The first sign, and the most notable, was with the weather. A spring-like storm pushed record breaking warmth over the summit, quickly changing the snow which fell yesterday around noon to rain. A persistent sounthwesterly wind has kept the temperature mild overnight, and the combination of the rain and fog has slowly been eating away at the snow on the ground. Looking through the dense fog, I can see many bare rocks resting upon the summit. The walk to get the precipitation has required crampons, as the snow has melted away leaving a watery coating atop slick ice. Walking on top of this skating rink would not be so bad if it weren’t for the wind!

The second unofficial start to spring was noted when I wrote down the sunrise and sunset times on the daily weather forms. Sunrise: 5:54am. Sunset: 5:56pm. Length of Day: 12 hours and 02 minutes! The loosely termed Vernal Equinox on the summit is today! Due to the summit being the highest point around, and the horizon line lower than the height of the summit, sunrise and sunset times must be adjusted. In fact, sunrise and sunset times are adjusted by twelve minutes (six minutes for sunrise and six minutes for sunset) to account for the difference in our horizon. Days are now longer than nights on the summit for the next 6 months! It’s just a matter of time before the sedge grass turns greens and the alpine flowers are in bloom!

Here is another picture showcasing the string of beautifuls sunrises we have had up here during the past week!


Tim Markle,  Chief Observer

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