Monday, November 25, 2013

11-25-13 Arrival of Winter

          Mount Washington Weather Center
Summit Conditions – 6:15 AM, Mon.
W. Chill
304° (NW), 76.6 mph
86.3 mph
METAR KMWN 251055Z 30065G73KT 120SM SCT/// BKN050 BKN100 BKN120 BKN200 M24/M29 RMK ACSL ALQDS TPS LWR SCT045= NNNN
Summit Forecast – Monday, November 25, 2013
A ridge of high pressure will crest to our south today allowing for a generally sunny day across the higher summits. As the high crests, a return flow will gradually allow temperatures to rebound to above zero and winds will start to dampen. Wind chills will start around 50 below but improve over the day allowing the current wind chill advisory to expire by noon time. Overnight, clouds will be back on the increase from the west before resettling as summit fog as a weak low moves up the St Lawrence River Valley. A weak warm front will allow for a chance of snow showers after midnight then a trailing cold front will allow for occasional snow showers on Tuesday morning. Later in the day, moisture from another low in the south will start to stream northward allowing for continued snow heading into the evening. New snowfall from the low overnight and Tuesday will range from a trace to two inches; however, totals Tuesday afternoon might range higher depending on the timing of Northeaster approaching for the overnight hours and Wednesday. We will reflect these totals in tomorrows forecast once the timing of the system becomes 

This is the morning report from Ryan Knapp staff meteorologist at the Mt. Washington Weather Observatory from 6:30 am. As you can see the temperatures are all well below zero. The photo is from the observatory's web cams and is looking north. The line across the photo is the cog railway tracks. The northern peaks, Mt. Jefferson  and Mt. Adams are under the clouds. Mt. Madison is visible to the center right just catching the alpine glow from the sunrise. 

Yesterday, Sunday 11-24-13, the statistics were even more impressive with the temperature in the minus teens and wind gusts as high as 104 mph that pushed the windchill down to -58 degrees (F) at one point. Quite a jolt. Winter has arrived in the White Mountains. There is even talk of a "dump" of snow later this week from the impending nor'easter.

As I have so many times over the past three months, or so, I was planning on hiking this weekend. My plans were to go up to Lakes of the Clouds and take photos to document the lakes and the area around them just before winter begins to set in, but it was my daughter Lizzie's birthday. My efforts to get up North this fall have been stymied by a litany of things. The most notable was being brought to my knees by allergies that I've never experienced before. I've never been allergic to anything with the exception of bee stings when I was about 11 years old. I have no idea why but the allergies I experienced from late September through all of October were severe. Readers of the blog have reported similar experiences with similar types of allergies so it was a widespread phenomenon. In addition, and like a lot of you, I'm sure, I've been swept away by work-related stress. "Burn out", I think they call it and the best anecdote for stress that I know of is hiking, mountains, fresh air, and the trail.

My experience with allergies extended to a medicine I take to ease knee pain on descents called Diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflamatory or NSAIS) that my surgeon prescribed for me following some work he did on both knees 7-8 years ago. I rarely take it unless I'm already in pain or anticipating pain from a long hike. On my trip up Mt. Flume and Mt. Liberty a few months ago I wrote about heat exhaustion and dehydration but I was actually experiencing a reaction to the Diclofenac. I didn't realize it was an allergic reaction until I took it a month later before a hike and experienced a severe reaction in which I blacked out for a few minutes. It was a little scary, So I am back to relying on aspirin and ibuprofen.

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