seek the peak

2008-07-28 10:58:32.000 – Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern

The last few rays illuminate some high clouds.

Saturday was a busy day on Mt. Washington, thanks to 250 hikers who ventured to the summit to Seek the Peak. At the summit, they were rewarded with views of over 40 miles, tours of the observatory, and hundreds of homemade cookies. (We’ve been enjoying the leftover cookies all day.) The event was a huge success. We raised over $97,000 through the hike-a-thon. Some members of the summit crew were allowed to venture down to the Seek the Peak banquet at the Auto Road base. After filling our stomachs with turkey and cheering on the winners of some pretty sweet prizes, we headed back up to the summit. We returned just in time for the amazing thunderstorm Mike mentioned in his comment.

Saturday night’s thunderstorm was definitely the most exciting one that I have seen from the summit. When I was younger, thunderstorms used to scare me. But after I learned the science behind them, they began to fascinate me. All summer, I have been anticipating some exciting thunderstorms from the observatory. Saturday’s storm lasted for over an hour. We began in the clouds with flashes of lightning illuminating the clouds and periods of heavy rain. As the storm passed, the clouds lifted and we were able to see the lightning striking from cloud to cloud or cloud to ground to our north. We watched as the flashes faded to the east as the electrical storm moved on through the White Mountains.

Last night, we finally saw a fog-free sunset after some more thunderstorms passed through the area to the south of us. As the storms dissipated, the shrinking cloud tops were illuminated by the setting sun. This morning, the mountain greeted us with some sunshine, some puffy cumulus clouds, and temps in the 50’s, which feel pretty warm up here. Hopefully we will be getting some clearer weather as high pressure builds back in to our region.

 

Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern

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