Strong Winds and Lightning
2016-09-11 18:26:10.000 – Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist
Today was one of those days that makes it really exciting, and sometimes stressful, to work here. This morning when I woke up, there was lighter winds than I was expecting and the storm was much further north than what was forecasted. I was bummed we may not see high winds. Things started changing when severe thunderstorm warnings began being issued in Vermont with a nice squall line marching toward the summit. Eventually a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the summit along with much of the state. When the storms first arrived, there was not much wind with gusts near 75 mph and little lightning. After about 20 minutes of rain, suddenly the winds hit with gust near 90 and lightning was occurring more frequently.
Just as the storm began moving off, we suddenly had a bolt strike the building creating a bright flash and an immediately boom, and then complete silence. No matter how much grounding you do, somehow lightning still finds a way to cause our UPS to fail and shut down causing the server and all of our computers to shut off. It is a moment of panic being the IT specialist on the summit when all the power goes off without notice. Luckily with the help of staff on vacation and on their week off helped get the servers back up and running and making sure all the instruments are recording data properly. Once that was done, it was back to watching the winds continue to increase.
Observer Adam Gill leaning into winds gusting to 98 mph
Even though the storm was moving further north than anticipated, it was stronger than what was forecasted so that helped keep the winds from being lighter than forecasted. Winds peaked during the early afternoon with a gust to 101 mph! It has been since early May since I had last seen 100 mph winds! I am quite excited for winter to return to the summit! It is only a month away before we start to see frequent snow storms and ice storms!
Adam Gill, Weather Observer/IT Specialist