2008-04-16 01:55:31.000 – Matthew Morin, Space Grant Intern
With the end of another shift on the summit just about completed, I stop to review all the pictures that I’ve taken over the last week. One thing that catches my eye right away is the landscape last Wednesday as compared to today.
Spring is truly a transition season and the brown to white to, later on this week, brown color change of the ground around the observatory certainly shows that. At the beginning of this shift last Wednesday, the temperature got up to 41°F and there was plenty of bare ground exposed. Then on Sunday, the summit was in the clouds with an average temperature of only 15°F. On this day there was abundant moisture which caused impressive riming conditions. Additionally, the summit also received 2.6 inches of snow and ice which quickly coated everything around the observatory.
The cold temperatures lingered Monday and into Tuesday, though the clouds eventually moved out just in time for a breathtaking sunset Monday evening. Tuesday featured crystal clear skies with visibilities of around an impressive 120 miles thanks to a high pressure system building into the region. I took full advantage of the amazing scenery by going for a short hike around the summit with camera in hand. The white to brown color change of the ground should take place Thursday and into Friday as temperatures on the summit could reach around 50°F. I only have one more shift before my internship is over and I already know I’m going to miss this incredible place. But no worries, I’ll be back to visit!
Matthew Morin, Space Grant Intern