Winter Returns…and gets brutal!

2007-03-05 08:22:16.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

To the snowcave…

Just as we were getting used to the first moderated weather trend in over a month, we were thrown right back into the clutches of old man winter this weekend. Since the ‘end of the storm,’ we have picked up close to an additional 8 inches of great powder, and rumor has it that Tuckerman Ravine has well over a foot, on top of Friday’s storm. Conditions couldn’t be better on the summit right now, with large drifts finally forming after an extended absence (read “since October”).

The staff and German research students have been making good use of these drifts, both for research and leisure. The comment picture today is of one of them crawling into a snow cave, which he slept in while recording conditions of data loggers around the cave. The instruments he used were so sensitive, he could see large differences in cave climate between times when he was in his down sleeping bag, and times when he was not. Insulation goes both ways. As for leisure…here’s a shot of the staff using the drifts for less than scientific research! Additionally, a new edition of our weekly Obscast is up this morning, highlighting some of the other projects that the researchers worked on. Lastly, thanks to our guest Neil Shea for allowing us to use today’s pictures.

And for a look ahead…the weather coming in tonight will likely be written into the record books for some time to come, as one of the coldest air masses ever to move over the peak in the month of March bears down on the peak. Temperatures tomorrow morning should bottom out near -30F, well below the daily record of -23! Only four daily record lows are below -30 in March, and we’ll see in a few short hours how this outbreak will stack up. Brutal weather ahead for sure!!!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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