Thoughts from the Newest Observer
2019-07-27 09:57:32.000 – AJ Grimes, Weather Observer
Hello everyone, my name is AJ Grimes and I am the newest Weather Observer up on the summit. Some of you may recognize me from my time working in the Observatory’s summit museum from 2012 to 2017, but if not I’ll share a little bit about myself. I’m from Milford, Massachusetts but have spent enough time in New Hampshire throughout my life to call it my second home. I earned my Bachelors in Environmental Studies from the University of Central Florida and my Masters in Environmental Studies focusing on Atmospheric Science from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. When I’m not on the summit, you can typically find me behind the drum kit playing for my heavy metal band, in the kitchen baking desserts, or playing with my two Norwegian Forest cats.
My first shift back with the Observatory last week was a delightful whirlwind of processing new information, meeting the new members of the crew, and reconnecting with old friends. I spent a large portion of the shift shadowing Tom (our shift leader, Weather Observer and Education Specialist) and learning how weather observations are taken on Mount Washington. Due to the mountaintop location of our weather station, a few special procedures must be followed here that other stations may not consider. For example, either we frequently observe clouds that are partially or completely below the summit, which are coded and reported differently than clouds passing overhead. An observer working at a ground level weather station would never need to report clouds below their feet, making this one of the unique situations that observers need to account for on Mount Washington.
Now on my second shift, I’m settling into the groove of taking observations every hour and readjusting to life on the summit. One crew member that has affectionately welcomed me back is Marty the summit cat! Marty used to come visit me in the museum on quiet mornings, but since he would vanish when the large crowds arrived, we didn’t get to spend much time together. Now that I spend most of my day in the weather room (one of his favorite hangouts), he has grown accustomed to hopping up on my lap whenever he pleases. His presence helps this remote station feel more like home, and helps me deal with being away from my own cats for a week at a time.
It feels great to be back at the pinnacle of New England and I look forward to the all the experiences and adventures that await!
AJ Grimes, Weather Observer