The Good Weather Shift

2008-10-26 15:40:18.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

Some of that good weather

Ever since I started working for the Observatory, for whatever reason, there always seems to be one shift that sees all the warmer, clearer, fairer weather (the “good weather” shift) while the other gets all the stormy, extreme, and interesting weather (the “bad weather” shift). I use quotations because good and bad weather is all relative. What one person may consider good weather may be bad to another.

Now to some people, it may seem more desirable to be on the good weather shift, but that is not the case for those of us that call this big pile of rocks home for a week at a time. We all love to see the “bad” weather. The more extreme, the better. Luckily, the good weather shift and the bad weather shift always seems to be a fluid thing; it changes from season to season and sometimes from month to month. For the last couple months, my shift has undoubtedly owned the title of the good weather shift.

This particular shift week has certainly shown that. When we arrived on Wednesday, temperatures dropped into the mid teens. Since then, we have seen a warming trend with temperatures for the most part remaining above seasonal levels since Friday. When we arrived on Wednesday, it was foggy with rime ice forming and snow falling. By the time the other crew left, it was completely clear and dry until yesterday afternoon. Now again today, after a rather quick moving storm came through last night with some rain, fog, and wind, we are again completely clear with temperatures around 40 and winds back down below 30 mph.

Looking ahead, a very cold air mass will move into New England starting late tomorrow. When will the coldest air associated with this air mass arrive on the summit? At this point, it looks like Wednesday, shift change day, of course. There is also a significant snow storm for the summits showing up in the models. What day could that affect the summit (if it even ends up happening) you may ask? Again, Wednesday, when the other crew, the “bad weather” shift arrives.

Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly nice to see some fair weather on the summit from time to time. Always seeing fog and nasty weather would get old too. Right now though, all I can think is: “Is some cold, snow, and 100+ mph winds too much to ask for?”

Observer’s footnote: This Tuesday, October 28th, the observatory will be holding a fund raiser at Flatbread Pizza Company in North Conway, located across the street from the Weather Discovery Center. A portion of the proceeds from every whole or small pizza sold from 5 pm until closing will be donated to the work we do at the observatory. So you get great pizza while supporting your favorite organization. Bring a friend or if you cannot make it, please tell someone who might be able to attend. We look forward to seeing you there.


Brian Clark,  Observer

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