One Year Later

2013-03-29 15:57:17.000 – Michael Kyle,  Summit Intern

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About this time last year I was sitting in my physical meteorology class learning about cloud physics. During one of my professor’s lectures he talked about rime ice. He explained that when an object is in the fog or inside a cloud, and the air temperature is below the freezing point, microscopic water droplets can remain in liquid form in a supercooled state. These supercooled droplets that making up the cloud will freeze on contact as soon as they impact an object. As the droplets continue to impact the object and freeze, their accumulation forms ice feathers that grow into the direction of the wind. My professor proceeded to display images of rime ice on the projection screen behind him. The entire class was fascinated with its unique beauty and at the end of the lecture a student asked where the pictures were taken. My professor replied, ‘Most of them I found on the internet, the last few were from my trip to Mount Washington .’Little did I know that one year later I would be interning at the Mount Washington Observatory, observing and removing rime ice on a daily basis. After just over three months, viewing all different types of amazing weather phenomenon, rime ice still captivates me most. From the way it dramatically changes the landscape, coating everything with crusty white feathers that extend into the wind from a few inches to a few feet, to its ability to demonstrate temperature change through changes in color and texture. Needless to say getting to see all this in person is one of the many perks of working at the Mount Washington Observatory . With the changing of the seasons it is going to be sad to see the rime ice slowly wither away.

 

Michael Kyle,  Summit Intern

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