Rime comes for a visit

2011-10-21 22:08:20.000 – Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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Winter has re-returned to the summit.

Its respite was hardly extensive, however, as when our shift arrived on the summit on Wednesday, the summit was coated with a layer of feathery rime ice and light accumulations of snow, with temperatures in the 30s F.

Like clockwork, though, a warm front approached and prompted temperatures to soar on Wednesday night, topping out around 50 degrees F in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The result was a rapid melting of all things white during my nighttime shift-winter at the start, and back to summer by night’s end. This has been the theme for our shift’s arrival that has become so standard it is almost laughable. The weather catches up with everyone, however, and the models were clear that this latest unseasonable warm-up would not last long.

A scant 24 hours it lasted, and just before midnight Thursday night, I heard the distinct patter of ice pellets bouncing off the windows of the weather room. Fog turned to freezing fog, and a steady accumulation of glaze ice to commence the second portion of my nighttime shift eventually morphed into rime ice accretion as temperatures continued to fall. A summit that was warm and soaked at dusk had morphed back into a chilly and icy wintertime scene in time for the sun’s rise.

Contrary to most of our previous shifts, models are predicting that winter will indeed stay put for the duration of our week and beyond. It appears as if the exceptionally balmy October (that, to this date, is averaging nearly 8 degrees F above normal) has finally come back down to earth.

 

Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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