Two Reasons to Celebrate

2009-04-12 11:13:00.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

Our Easter Candy

Today is a special day for two reasons.

The first reason is the obvious one: it’s Easter Sunday. Although those of us on the summit this week can’t celebrate in some of the traditional ways, like spending time with family or going to church (if we had a sunrise service here on the summit, it would have been a darn cold one today), we find other ways to celebrate. For instance, last night we colored eggs and today we will be having an (indoor) Easter egg hunt. We were also gifted a significant amount of chocolate and other candy by volunteer Ed O’Malley (thanks Ed!) and certainly plan to indulge in that today. Intern Ali is particularly excited about all that chocolate because, every year, she gives up sweets for lent.

The second reason today is special: it’s Big Wind Day! Some of you out there might be wondering, what in the heck is Big Wind Day? Well, April 12 commemorates the day that, back in 1934, Observatory observers measured the highest surface wind speed recorded at the surface of the Earth by means of an anemometer, affectionately (and more simply) known as the Big Wind. This year’s Big Wind Day is extra special because it is the 75th anniversary of this important event in the history of Mount Washington, the Observatory, and modern weather observation.

Unfortunately we will not be seeing anything big in the wind department today. Wind speeds may get up near hurricane force by the end of the day, but of course by our standards that is nothing special. Last year I thought the same thing, but we were surprised with a sudden 118 mph wind gust caused by a downburst from a convective cell. So who knows, maybe this year will bring a surprise as well.

As I was finishing this comment, the observer email account received an ecard wishing us a happy Big Wind Day. In addition to this being a nice gesture, I found it particularly interesting that Yahoo Greetings actually has a specific ecard for this occasion. A quick Google search revealed not one, but two other sites that have similar ecards. Now you can share Big Wind Day with all your friends and family!


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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