2009-01-04 22:01:54.000 – Jeffrey Viel, Summit Intern
Outside in the wind.
My name is Jeffrey Viel, and I am currently a junior at Plymouth State University majoring in meteorology. As an intern here at the Mount Washington Observatory, I have several responsibilities to manage throughout the week. Not only am I conducting a research project based here at the summit, but I am also contributing to the work of the observers and helping with their daily tasks.I have had a thrilling experience this first week at the Mount Washington Observatory. It all started early Tuesday morning, when we made the trek up the mountain in the snow and the ice while in the Snow Cat. After an hour and a half, we had safely reached the mountain summit. Once the Snow Cat pulled up beside the observatory, we quickly unloaded our gear and brought it inside the relatively warm observatory. After a quick tour of the observatory, I had the opportunity to meet the famous Mount Washington cat, Marty.
As a weather enthusiast, having the opportunity to stay atop Mount Washington, home of the world’s most extreme weather, is truly a once in a lifetime experience. On just my second day here, I witnessed sustained winds that were well over 80 mph. Although I thought this was extreme weather, it was nothing compared to the winds and temperatures New Years day brought. On Thursday morning, I awoke from what sounded like a freight train going by my window. I quickly jumped out of my bunk and dashed to the observatory to see how fast the winds were recorded as. To my astonishment, they were sustained at approximately 100 mph with a temperature of 21°F below zero. However, this was only the beginning. By the end of New Years day, wind gusts peaked at 132 mph with wind chills of 83°F below zero. Needless to say, deicing was a difficult task that day.
Jeffrey Viel, Summit Intern