2007-12-08 22:29:11.000 – Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist
The following interview took place in an observer’s head between Imaginary Reporter (IR) and Staff Meteorologist (SM) the night of December 8th, 2007:
IR: Good evening and thanks for having me here. For the record, spell your name and where you are from.
SM: Sure. It’s Ryan, R-Y-A-N, Knapp, K-N-A-P-P from Berlin, B-E-R-L-I-N, New Hampshire, N-H.
IR: Great, thanks. Alright, let’s start with the weather. What’s happening outside right now?
SM: Well, at the last observation, we had blowing snow and freezing fog with a visibility of 1/16 of a mile and a temperature of two below with winds from the northwest at 65 mph gusting to 74 mph…
IR: Is that hurricane force?
SM: Well the gusts are a category 1 force but the sustained is not. Earlier though, we we had sustained winds for a category 1 hurricane with a gust of about 95 mph.
IR: Wow, impressive. Now earlier I saw you working on a bunch of forms sprawled out on the table. What was that all about?
SM: That was monthly check. Every month, we look over our various charts and forms for quality control and to derive various climatological statistics for the month. This is all then scanned, filed, mailed, and uploaded to various servers and climatological agencies. It is a lot of work that takes a few hours but it helps provide a window into what is going on up here and how it compares to the previous 75 years of weather observing this station has accumulated.
IR: What are some of the things that you guys are looking at for statistics?
SM: The key things are temperature, melted precipitation, snowfall, winds, clouds, and sunshine.
IR: Ok. Well let’s work through each one of those topics to see what you discovered for the month of November for Mount Washington, NH. I guess we will just work in order. What did you discover about temperature?
SM: Well we had a high of 42 Farhenheit on the 22nd and a low of 9 below on the twenty fourth.
IR: Did you have any records between those two?
SM: No, November saw no new records made.
IR: Is this unusual?
SM: No, we can go months or even years without breaking a record. It is all about how the weather plays out.
IR: What was the average temperature for the month?
SM: Our average was 17.1 Farhenheit which was 3.5 degrees below average.
IR: Does this mean global warming is over and that global cooling is taking over?
SM: No, it doesn’t work like that…
IR: I was just kidding. Interesting though that you guys were so cold. How about precipitation? How did this pan out?
SM: Well, we received 7.47 inches for the month with 24 hours providing us with 1.93 inches but that still was not enough to bring us to our normal November amount. Therefore we were 3.02 inches below normal.
IR: That’s not good. Did you guys fair any better with snowfall amounts?
SM: Well we received 33.4 inches, with 10.7 inches of that coming on the 6th. But again that still was not enough. We were 7.4 inches below normal on snowfall for November.
IR: How does this effect the season so far?
SM: Well, for the season, which goes from July of this year until June of next year, we have received 40.4 inches which is 16.6 inches below normal.
IR: Wow, that is quite a deficit to make up, do you think you can do it?
SM: The winter is still young, so it’s anyone’s game.
IR: True. Well how about winds, you guys had some pretty good gusts last month. How did your average winds fair when compared to normal?
SM: Well, we came close to normal with 40.1 mph which was only 0.4 mph lower than normal. We did get a peak gust of 110 mph on the 16th, which was one of four days that we had gusts over 100 mph. We also had 20 days with gusts of 73 mph or more which would make them hurricane force.
IR: Wow, you guys don’t play around when it comes to wind.
SM: Nope, when it comes to winds, it’s got to be large.
IR: Gotchya. Well how about some other weather facts?
SM: Well we had 8 days of rain and 20 days of snow. We had 6 clear days, 4 partly cloudy days, and 20 cloudy days. We had 28 days where fog occurred for at least fifteen minutes. With all the fog and clouds we had, we only received 34% of our possible sunshine for the month.
IR: Huh. Well I guess that explains why you are so pasty and white.
SM: That’s not funny.
IR: Sorry. So, how does one become a weather observer?
SM: Well most of us are college educated but any one can observe the weather. I know a few amateur valley observers. It is real easy and our online store carries some of the things to get you started from simple thermometers all the way up to a full system. If you are really into observing, you can even become a COOP observer for the National Weather Service.
IR: Is there any positions on the summit?
SM: We are still looking for an IT observer and we are always accepting applications for interns up here. Interning is the easiest way to be an observer up here and is open to anyone 18 and older. Our site has more information on that.
IR: Interesting. Well thanks for all the information and for taking the time to talk with us. And we look forward to finding out what December holds for you guys. Take care.
SM: No problem and thanks.
Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist