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2010-10-23 15:56:25.000 – Kristin Raisanen,  Summit Intern

The summit covered in snow and ice

Now that the Summit Museum and Shop has mostly closed for the season, I have been released from my duties as the temporary Summit Museum Supervisor and have been able to return to my other title, Summit Intern. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the museum, chatting with summit visitors and telling them about the observatory, I am glad to be back with my meteorological roots in the weather room.

The mountain has decided to welcome me back this week in grand style! It started early Wednesday morning as we headed up the mountain and needed to put chains on the van tires half way up the road because it was already snow covered. Wednesday and Thursday were nice days as far as the summit is concerned. The winds were between 20 and 35 mph and temperatures were in the upper 20’s. The fog cleared Wednesday afternoon, but returned Thursday morning. The return of the fog allowed me to learn the art of de-icing as I was getting my intern bearings back. The next couple days, however, would show me exactly how excited the mountain was for my return to the weather room.

As I ventured up to the weather room on Friday morning to start my work day, it was time to shovel. With winds sustained around 75 mph and gusting above 80 and temperatures in the low teen’s, it was definitely an extreme form of shoveling. Unfortunately, my goggles iced up inside and out, dramatically cutting down my visibility. This made getting around the summit that much more difficult. Eventually, after tripping over several random chunks of snow that I didn’t see, we finished our shoveling. Lots of de-icing and being blown over on the observation deck followed for the day.

Today was just a little different. After a day of being thrown around a little, I have finally found my high wind technique, including how to stand, walk, shovel and de-ice in high winds. Shoveling was much quicker this morning, moving around the summit was a little easier, and my goggles didn’t ice up nearly as bad! The fog even cleared this afternoon allowing for some fantastic shots of the Northern Presidentials and the summit covered in ice and snow.

The next few days will be a complete change from yesterday and today. A high pressure system is approaching which will allow temperatures to rise into the 40’s and winds to decrease. We are also expecting quite a bit of rain Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Though my thermals, facemask, and puffy winter jacket will not be needed for the remainder of the week, the mountain has definitely welcomed me back with a bang and a clear reminder of the forces this mountain can dish out.

 

Kristin Raisanen,  Summit Intern

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