Observing the Observers

2015-04-08 20:10:04.000 – Brenda and Preston Conklin, Summit Volunteers

 

Our shift ran Wednesday to Wednesday, April 1-8. The Bombardier Sno-Cat brought us up the Auto Road bumping and shimmying, often times pushing drifted snow as we proceeded by birch poles marking the edge of the road. Some stuck up only inches from the snow road’s surface, even though some of the markers are over 10 feet high. Occasionally pavement was bare due to the windblown conditions, especially near the top.
 
The Observatory staff was generous to let us ride up front. Our driver, John, offered interesting commentary and answered questions. We lucked out with spectacular weather. We could see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, which appeared as a shiny band of silver in the distance.
 
The week brought interns interviewing for summer positions, a Plymouth State University presentation about the effect of the boundary layer’s elevation on weather data at the summit; and two groups who had hiked up, led by guides from Eastern Mountain Sports and International Mountain Equipment. We were happy to share the newly remodeled bunk rooms with very appreciative overnight guests.
 
We enjoyed seeing Observatory website acronyms: SN BLSN FZFG for Snow, Blowing Snow, and Freezing Fog. The weather we experienced this past week included temperatures ranging from -3 F to +35 F, a peak wind gust of 98 mph, and an average wind speed of 47 mph. The Rockpile received its first rain showers of the year, but also saw an impressive snowfall of 22.6″ for the week. Visibility ranged from 0 to 120 miles.
 
We were treated to two red-sky sunsets with clear evening lights of distant towns and ski areas. It was equally impressive to stand at the Observatory windows seeing clouds, fog and snow fly by. Thank you Mt Washington Obs staff for being so polite, informative, and hungry for the food we prepared. Being with you for the week has been a total pleasure.

 

Brenda and Preston Conklin, Summit Volunteers

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