Sun, Dog.

2012-11-17 18:09:30.000 – Brian Fitzgerald,  Weather Observer/Education Specialist

Sun dogs to our west late Friday afternoon.

Well it’s been a quiet week here on the Rockpile- my weekly home, perhaps one of the more quiet weeks in recent history. Not a single drop of precipitation has fallen since Tuesday, and we’ve only been in the fog for a few brief hours, instead of the 60% odds we typically have. Weather-wise it hasn’t been too rough up on the summit, though it’s hard to complain when the view has stayed so outstanding. With the ever-decreasing sunlight as we draw closer to the winter solstice I’ll certainly take a fair-weather week. With one large high pressure system after another parading across our region, we’ve been left with very sunny and very dry skies. Relative humidity has been routinely less than 20% up here, and with the heat on indoors it’s even more difficult to stay hydrated than normal. Enough with the complaining though, because with very little moisture in the sky, save the very upper levels of our atmosphere we’ve been seeing a lot of a phenomena known as sun dogs (this photo taken in Fargo, North Dakota).

A sun dog is a type of atmospheric phenomenon that appears as a bright spot of light on either one or both sides of the sun when sunlight passes through frozen moisture in the sky (aka high cirrus clouds). Sun dogs are a fairly common occurrence, though if you are on the lookout for one, make sure the position of the sun is low in the sky so that the sun’s light can pass through the clouds and their moisture and on into your eyes.

In other news MWO is proud to be partnering with the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce on a snowfall contest. Purchase a ticket for $2 and register you prediction of the day and time that Jackson, NH will receive its first 6′ of snow in a single storm. If your prediction is correct, you’ll win half of the ticket sale proceeds! The other half will be split equally between the Observatory and the JACC. For more information visiting and click on the snowflake in the upper left corner of the home page!


Brian Fitzgerald,  Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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