2011-07-13 23:25:54.000 – Mike Carmon, Observer / Meteorologist
Thunderstorms, thunderstorms, all around us!
My off-week in the valley was just what the doctor ordered–plenty of sunny days, with temperatures soaring into the 80s, and lots of time for outdoor activities. This is perhaps the best medicine to cure eight days of cabin fever-inducing foggy conditions with chilly summertime summit-top mercury readings in the 40s and 50s. I was most certainly bred for the summer and it’s accompanying warmer weather, so with the weather up in Burlington, VT this past off-week, I was quite in my glory.
With my return to the summit today, I knew the weather was to take a turn for the wild. Despite the models suggestions of a relatively quiet Wednesday, and subsequent shift week, there is (nearly without fail) a surprise up the proverbial sleeve of Mt. Washington. Our ascension on Wednesday morning ended atop a foggy summit, which was fully anticipated. However, during the early afternoon hours, the fog began to intermittently clear, and plenty of convection was evident all around us.
After a brief afternoon nap to gear up for the night shift, I awoke during the evening to find the radar smattered with all sorts of color hues, indicative of thunderstorm activity. Although no storms made a direct hit on the summit, they surrounded us, almost as an army surrounds its enemy camp just prior to an attack. Their siege was unsuccessful, though, and we watched from the relative safety of our mountaintop as lightning lit up the sky in all directions, and impressive thunderheads over one hundred miles in the distant grew to the tropopause. It was quite a show, and to be borderline narcissistic, my own personal signal of change from the 80s of the valley off-week to the 50s of the summit work-week!
Mike Carmon, Observer / Meteorologist