Signs of fall

2006-08-14 03:38:58.000 – Rick Comeau,  Teacher Extern

The Sturgeon Moon

Signs of fall arrive early here on the summit; manifesting themselves in subtle, yet obvious ways to the observant eye. In the last two weeks, we have recorded several days where the minimum summit temperatures have hovered around the freezing mark. Along with healthy breezes in the 40-50 mph range, the wind chill has been in the teens: hikers beware! While collecting data at the 3000 foot elevation this past Thursday, my colleague and I were caught in a driving rain. This rain, unlike the rain of two weeks ago, was COLD! We ditched the data mission and opted for the safety and warmth of the truck we parked along the auto road. With this noticeable shift in weather, visitors are increasingly unprepared for what awaits them as they exit the Cog rail and coach vans at the summit. Last night the temperature dipped just below freezing. Coupled with a dry fog, two anemometers on the observatory tower were slightly iced, and milkman’s ice covered the observation deck in the early dawn hours. I have noticed the sedges in the alpine meadows above 4000 feet as well as those just outside our observatory window, have turned from a lush green, to the soft color of golden wheat ready for harvest. Completing their life cycle, like the weather observers, they too anticipate the snow and ice that is sure to arrive in just a handful of weeks from now.As a teacher extern here at the Observatory, I have thought a lot about perspective; specifically, how people describe and experience weather is really all about perspective. Later this week, I will comment on several observations about weather and perspective. Until then, bookmark our website and consider becoming a member of the Mount Washington Observatory.


Rick Comeau,  Teacher Extern

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