Surprises and Reflection

2008-03-27 22:00:49.000 – Matthew Morin,  Space Grant Intern

Crepuscular rays

Last night when I looked at the numerical models, I saw that tomorrow morning’s dew point depressions (the temperature minus the dew point) would be 0 to 3 degrees. This usually indicates that the summit would be in the clouds and I would be left with not much of a view out the observatory windows. However, this morning I awoke to find that the sun was shining brightly and the visibility was around 45 miles. The winds today were light by summit standards, blowing around 30 to 45 mph. Temperatures were around 10°F mid morning, warming to a high temperature of around 16°F by 4 pm. All in all, it turned out to be a beautiful day atop this amazing mountain.

When you factor in the nice weather and the loads of Easter candy I’ve been eating today, you can image how stir crazy I was getting while sitting at my workstation. I had an intense urge to go for a hike, but duty calls. With my internship ending in mid-April, I needed to make more progress on my ARVTP research project. My goal is to get conclusive results that I can put into a research paper worthy enough to both be published in Windswept and be presented at meteorological conferences this year.

Ultimately, I decided that after several hours of programming in MATLAB that I would take a mini hike around the observatory. I’m glad I did. The cold air rejuvenated my mind and body, enough to do more research and compose this observer comment. As an added bonus, I got to see the curious fox that likes to hike up and explore the terrain on the summit. Right before I headed inside to carry on with my research, I stopped to take in the scenery around me. My experiences have taught me never to take anything for granted and I wanted to be sure I was living in, and fully appreciating, the moment I was in at the time. I began to think about the recent events in my life that have somehow worked out to land me this internship, 6,288 feet above sea level. I feel sincerely thankful and honored to get an opportunity to be a Researcher and an Operational Meteorologist at the home of the world’s worst weather.


Matthew Morin,  Space Grant Intern

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