What just happened???

2007-10-09 05:11:57.000 – Zach Allen,  Observer

Rollercoaster ride!

Yesterday showed a very unusual upward and downward spike in the temperature display. Believe it or not this really did happen, no technology problems whatsoever! The event took place between the times 2:28 EST and 2:39 EST. It took eleven minutes and had me running around the building preparing for some good ol’ fashion Mount Washington freezing rain and icing.

The first five minutes saw the temperature drop from 36 F to 32 F. By this time I watched the digital display of the thermograph drop… fast! My natural observer instinct kicked in to get up the interns to help me take down the sensitive wind instruments, notify State Park that we were going to go below freezing and get ready to head outside. The temperature held at 32 degrees for a minute. In that time I had gone down to double check if the interns got up. By the time I got back up to the weather room the temperature was rapidly climbing. Within another five minutes the temperature climbed up to 44 F! A twelve degree increase in five minutes! It completely baffled me.

The whole event can be verified by the Hays chart and corrected barograph. The Hays chart shows a sharp increase in winds as the barograph spiked. There was a weak downdraft that transported the cooler air from aloft lowering the temperature. As it ended the temperature quickly corrected itself. Typically we see this pattern with wind gusts or downdrafts during the summertime when thunderstorms are occurring. After consulting with my fellow observers Kyle and Stacey.

Moving on to today… if you were up checking our observations between 1 and 5 AM this morning you would have noticed below freezing temperatures, some light icing, and one very happy Mount Washington observer. This gave Linnea and Karen the chance to deice as well as our volunteers Mike and Sue Zlogar. The taste of winter finally hit this shift.


Zach Allen,  Observer

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