2012-03-23 20:37:44.000 – Rick Giard, Weather Observer / Education Specialist
Although it was pleasant to experience another unusually toasty March (April? May?) early spring (summer?) day yesterday, during these past several days it felt rather odd to be removing the multiple protective layers that protect us from the typical extremes as we go about our labors on the Rock Pile. Those summer boots felt strangely light and nimble, and when was the last time I left the goggles off and slipped the shades on. No hat? Good grief, let’s check the calendar – could that have possibly been the Vernal Equinox the other day? The normal average temperature for Mount Washington on March 23rd is 16F, and the record low -26F. Thursday’s 24-hour maximum of 51F incinerated the former record by ten degrees!
After an astounding stretch of record warmth, last night’s passing cold front returned the higher summits to more reasonable seasonal temperatures. The mercury still hovers slightly above normal. Yet having been acclimated to the exceptional warmth, 28F with gusty winds feels downright chilly. It is actually rather refreshing to feel legitimate spring-time conditions before launching into summer. Observing the few remaining isolated snow and ice patches as they dwindle to trace amounts, I realized that this may not be enough to return the higher summits to Alpine Zone winter. Then again, the arctic air mass expected early next week could offer a chance of one more winter blast. Personally, I plan to keep the winter gear close at hand.
Rick Giard, Weather Observer / Education Specialist