2010-10-25 14:26:09.000 – Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist
Everyone’s a little jumpy on the summit today. It could be the fact that it is Monday, meaning we have only two more nights before heading back to the valley. It could be the practically intravenous flow of coffee. It could be the rice crispy treats (slathered in chocolate frosting), the potato chip cookies, or the brownies. Arguably, each of these could be the cause of our jumpiness, or they could be enhancing our skittishness for the day. The reason the entire crew is jumpy is because every so often, a large chunk of heavy glaze ice (the size of a small car) dislodges from the tower and falls to the observation deck with a very loud thunk.
Loud noises have a tendency to startle people – especially if those people are hopped up on coffee and sugar and have to venture onto the observation deck on an hourly basis. We spent over an hour on the parapet, trying to preemptively remove the larger chunks of ice.
Hold on just a minute! Why is the ice falling off the tower? Isn’t Mount Washington supposed to be cold? Weren’t we just in the single digits two days ago? Didn’t it snow yesterday?
Our cold snap is over and the summit is melting! A warm front has put temperatures above forty degrees today, and it’s only going to get warmer tomorrow. Before it got warm though, we were able to take some beautiful sunrise pictures. A pillar of light preceded the sun, the alpine glow lit up the frosty no-longer-existent rime ice, and fluorescent pink virga dipped from the sky.
The fun wintry weather will return, but not until we’re long gone. Maybe by the time we return, the summit will be white again. One can hope!
Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist