Potential for high winds

2011-03-17 23:24:46.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

Saint Patty’s Day Lenticular Clouds

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks on the summit. We’ve had a ton of overnight guests, and day trips as well. On top of that, Ryan has taken some time off, I took a few days to do some work from our Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, and now fellow day observer Mike Finnegan is off until Sunday afternoon. This constant flux of people and staff certainly keeps us busy, and definitely makes the time fly by. Honestly, it’s very hard for me to believe that it’s already the middle of March.

Our current overnight guests, who are participating in one of our Winter EduTrips that is focusing on above treeline navigation skills, experienced a gorgeous Saint Patrick’s Day on the summit today. Fog cleared off before their arrival this morning, and this afternoon even featured some fantastic lenticular clouds. In addition to the photo attached to this comment, you can see more pictures of the clouds on the Observatory’s page on Facebook. Tomorrow, will likely be a completely different story, as numerical forecasting models are indicating some very high winds late tonight and through most of the day tomorrow. By ‘very high’, I mean sustained speeds of around 100 mph with gusts well above that. These kind of conditions are extreme enough that it may not be safe for our snow tractor to come up to retrieve the trip, which of course would mean that they get to spend a bonus night on the summit. We’ll see what happens though. This time of year, the numerical forecasting models make a transition to the ‘summer equations’, which can often cause some inaccuracies in these models until we actually start experiencing more summer like weather patterns. The pressure gradient shown in the graphical forecasting models are making me believe that this may be the case for this potential high wind event.

Be sure to keep an eye here, as well as our aforementioned page on Facebook, to see how things turn out tomorrow. It could prove to be very interesting, and who knows, maybe we’ll even see our highest wind gusts so far this winter season!


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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