2010-11-08 16:08:38.000 – Kristin Raisanen,  Summit Intern

A-frame and observation deck coated in glaze ice

With a strong low pressure system sitting off the coast of Cape Cod, the high pressure that has been dominating the weather for the summit and keeping it in the clear is long gone and the fog and precipitation rain has returned. Yesterday, the summits were fog free with a beautiful undercast (see yesterday’s comment for pictures), and temperatures were in the mid twenties with a gentle breeze. Today, the summit has been dazzled by winds from the northeast, a bit of snow, a bit of ice and lots of freezing rain. This morning, as Stacey came back into the weather room after an observation, she proclaimed ‘I think northeast winds are the worst’. On the summit, it seems that no matter what direction the winds are coming from, that direction is the ‘worst’.

Last week for a few days, the winds were from the northwest and west. When I came back in from a de-icing trip, I declared northwest winds as being the worst. Under these wind conditions, the wind is blowing straight into your face as you climb the ladder into the parapet. A few days later, I decided, northwest winds aren’t that bad compared to southeast and east winds. With winds from those directions, the wind, and precipitation are driven into your face as you try to de-ice the instruments. And if that’s not enough, the ice you have just knocked off the instruments will probably catch the wind and fly straight into you. South winds aren’t fun either. It’s difficult to stabilize yourself in a position that is conducive to a strong crowbar swing.

Today, northeast winds take the cake. With freezing rain coating most of the summit, the northeast winds are creating interesting trips into the tower. The freezing rain coats the ladder rungs and parapet with lovely glaze ice, and then the northeast wind tries to blow you off the already slippery ladder. Then the ice, yet again, flies back in your face as you knock it off the instruments.

So, now that I have declared 7 of the 8 possible wind directions as the worst, one can only assume that winds from the southwest would be the best. Well, that is until I experience winds from the southwest. I’m sure they too will be declared the ‘worst wind direction’ shortly after.


Kristin Raisanen,  Summit Intern

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