2011-09-01 18:27:35.000 – Brian Clark, Weather Observer/Education Specialist
Not an every day sight.
By not being here during Irene, I missed out on an opportunity to experience a personal first on the mountain: a 100+ mph wind in the summer time. Sure, over the last 4 years that I have worked as a full-time staff member, I have experienced numerous winds exceeding the century mark. However, even as my fifth summer on the mountain draws to a close, I still have not been here for winds of that magnitude during our summer months of June through September. Several measurements in the mid 90 mph range is the closest I have gotten.
Despite missing out on that first, I did get to experience non-weather related first yesterday: seeing a helicopter land on the summit. Well, it wasn’t technically on the summit, but just below the summit cone down along the Home Stretch portion of the Auto Road. A large Navy Seahawk helicopter made two landings (that I saw) yesterday afternoon for training purposes. Although I know these sorts of landings have happened on quite a few other occasions, possibly even at some point during my years here, this is the first time I actually got to witness it.
I’m still disappointed I missed out on the high winds on the summit over the weekend, but I’m certainly ok with trading one first for another!
Brian Clark, Weather Observer/Education Specialist