Undercast Sunrise

2006-08-31 04:32:36.000 – Tim Markle,  Chief Observer


Sometimes it can be tough to get yourself out of bed at 4:30am and head upstairs to start your shift. However, there are those mornings in which you don’t mind having to endure waking at such an early hour, if it means knowing a spectacular sight awaits you as you step outside for your first observation. Yesterday morning was one of those mornings. A relatively calm wind, brisk temperatures, and a blanket of clouds below made for a fine sunrise. In fact it was the kind of sunrise you wake the crew up for. It is not often we see an almost complete undercast up here in the summer.

Speaking of sunrise, it is also amazing the seemingly instantaneous transitions that take place in the natural world the moment the first rays of the sun crest over the eastern horizon. No sooner did the first light of the sun break, that birds began to chirp and call to one another across the dew-laden summit. It was also at that moment that the flat, motionless clouds appeared to come to life as they slowly grew in vertical shape, allowing the northwest winds to cascade the clouds downward into the Great Gulf from the peaks of the northern Presidentials.

As the surrounding mountains peaks capped in clouds, this peak stayed free of clouds. As the clouds grew they did seek to summit New England’s highest peak. However, a lack of lift and moisture dried out any cloud seeking to cap the summit in fog. Instead the flow pushed clouds around the summit cone, putting the tracks of the Cog railway, as well as the Auto Road, in the fog, while allowing views of 100 miles from the observation deck.

Eventually the clouds won, and the summit did become enshrouded in fog for much of yesterday. Conditions have improved overnight, though, with clear skies allowing for wonderful star gazing opportunities and a chance for another gorgeous sunrise!


Tim Markle,  Chief Observer

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