Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Continuing Ed: MWO "Wind Swept"

In the department of continuing education -- by actually reading old-fashioned printed volumes -- the latest edition just arrived of Windswept, the quarterly bulletin of the Mount Washington Observatory.

For an annual $45, you not only support the institution that provides us with the weather data so important for our avalanche bulletins, but you can also access high-resolution versions of the webcams along with additional views (which unfortunately this spring has allowed real time images of our melting snowpack throughout individual days), and four collections each year of some interesting articles.

Highlights of the latest edition include:

  • An examination of the fatal hiker fall in Tuckerman Ravine on an early January night this year.
  • An explanation of upslope snow, by the same meteorologist who delivered the presentation at the fall Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop.
  • An author's remembrances of skiing and hiking on Mt Washington, spanning from 1968 to 2011.
  • An assessment of human factors in mountain climbing accidents, by EMS avy instructor Dave Lottmann.
  • A recap by a MWO Meteorological Observer of our rather slow October-November-December start to the season (which although a depressing reminder, might at least take your mind off our rapid end to the season).
  • An explanation of the adiabatic process by another MWO Meteorological Observor.
Oh yes, and a cover picture showing the Mt Washington summit cone from Mt Monroe in late spring . . . except this year, on March 21, from that same vantage point, I saw far (far) less snow, sigh.

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