Turning 30 on the Summit
2016-06-03 13:33:03.000 – Mike Carmon, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Today, I enter a new chapter of my life, as I turn the big 3-0!
If that doesn’t get one feeling introspective, nothing will!
In the summer of 2008, I began an internship with the Mount Washington Observatory at its summit weather station. Having never been to the White Mountains, it was an overwhelming but exciting experience for a 22-year-old from the ‘burbs of central New Jersey.
Nearly 8 years later, here I still am, living and working in one of the most dynamic environments in the United States. Over this time, I’ve climbed the ladder from Night Observer to Day Observer to Education Specialist to Shift Leader to Co-Director, finally settling back in one of my big passions as Weather Observer & Education Specialist.
My passion for meteorology has persisted since I was 5 years old, and I’m lucky enough that I’ve never doubted this passion, and have been able to pursue it full-time. Ever since I heard the unmistakable sound of that first tornado siren while living in Illinois, and beheld the skies ominously darkening overhead, I’ve had no doubts as to where my career would ultimately take me! 25 years later, my rap sheet of extreme weather milestones has grown more than I ever could have imagined, thanks in large part to my time on Mount Washington:
- Facing winds up to 140 mph – check!
- Successfully joining the Century Club – check!
- Enduring temperatures as low as -40F – check!
- Experiencing wind chills as low as -90F – check!
- Witnessing powerful thunderstorms – check!
- Observing Hurricane Irene pass directly over the summit – check!
- Leading a snow cat through blizzard conditions – check!
- Wading through thick fog limiting visibility to only a few feet – check!
- Beholding the development of incredible undercasts – check!
- Viewing unmatched sunrises & sunsets – check!
- Sharing my experiences with The Weather Channel, as well as other local and national media outlets – check!
There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline-inducing feeling of being tossed around by 100+ mph winds, and as a meteorologist, these experiences are ones I’ll carry with me for a lifetime.
Although the sights of these weather phenomena are unparalleled, having the opportunity to work with some incredible folks over my time at MWO has been just as special of an experience. Through my time here, I’ve met a host of staunchly dedicated individuals who have shown their commitment day in and day out to the work of the summit staff. It’s always bittersweet to watch these interns and observers come and go, but I consider myself incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with all of these fine folks!
Finally, one last shout out to all of my family back in New Jersey, who have been with me every step of the way through this amazing adventure that has been my 20’s.
Cheers to what challenges and journeys my 30’s will bring!
Mike Carmon, Weather Observer & Education Specialist