2010-10-16 20:16:11.000 – Erica Sandschulte, Summit Intern
It is sincerely a beautiful site up here on the rockpile! Snow has been falling off and on today covering the summit in a white blanket of snow. Going outside, there was not much definition between the sky and the ground; there were moments the fog was so think seeing 50ft ahead of you was difficult! We have accumulated 7 inches of snow in about 48 hours, and it will keep coming as the weekend continues. Although it is a beautiful winter wonderland outside, keep in mind that the temperatures are well below freezing and are expected to stay that way into early next week. Since the storm began winds have been gusting above 50 mph, glaze and rime ice are forming to anything and everything, and ice pellets fly straight into you. With that said, the low temperatures coupled in with high winds adds a wind chill. With conditions the way they have been, wind chills are between 5 degrees and 5 above. That is cold!
One severe condition that can occur with conditions like this is frostbite. It can happen to areas of the body furthest away from the core, damaging skin and tissues that are exposed or not covered properly. It is more likely to happen when temperatures are below freezing especially with wind present. My concern is not to scare anyone, but to remind you of the possible effects that extreme weather can have on an individual.
To prevent this from happening check the weather before you venture out, have proper clothing and gear, and be 100 % sure that you can hike in these conditions. From the base to the summit of any mountain, the weather can change drastically putting a hiker in jeopardy. Here at the Mount Washington Observatory we offer daily summit weather outlooks and have a number so that you can receive updates. We do this for you. Our weather phone number 603-356-2137 or 1800-706-0432 ext.1 No more dreaming of snowflakes boys and girls, winter is here!
Erica Sandschulte, Summit Intern