Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Websites: NOAA and Mt. Washington's Higher Summits Forecast

Instead of a Shout-Out this week, I'm sharing the two weather websites most northeast hikers depend upon.

Mt. Washington Observatory's Higher Summits Forecast


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Forecast

This week, I'm especially interested in both these sites this because Alex and I have three major, exposed peaks left on the winter 4K list: Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Monroe.  The three are right next to each other, and I'd very much like to get them out of the way at the earliest (safe) opportunity.  This means we're going to jump on the first day with "warm" summit temperatures (at least 15 degrees F), low wind speeds (less than 25mph), and good visibility (little to no fog or blowing snow).  With sunshine, good trail conditions, little wind and decent enough temperatures, I think we can get them all done in one hike.

The latter site, which I've linked directly to Mt. Washington's specific summit forecast, is useful for getting an idea of what the summit conditions might be like in a few days.  It's also fairly accurate in its predictions regarding today and tomorrow's weather.

The Mt. Washington Observatory's site is extraordinarily accurate, but it only forecasts today and tomorrow's conditions.  The good folks at the Observatory do not predict the weather more than a day ahead of time, since Mt. Washington's weather changes so quickly and radically.

Both sites are useful in planning hikes for Washington and its nearby, exposed, 5000 ft+ peaks.

So...not a real Shout-Out this week, but forgive me, I'm preoccupied.  I'll be very happy once these three peaks are in the bag.  Then we'll have only Flume left, which is a much easier mountain to hike.

If the weather does not offer the conditions we need before March 20, then those Presidentials will have to wait until the 2012-2013 winter season.  I won't take Alex up there unless I feel it's safe to do so.

Still, there's time...we have hope...


Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered volunteering at the Mount Washington Observatory for a week? It is an awesome experience to see how the observers work, live and play on the summit that definitely outweighs the chores involved.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

I would LOVE to volunteer at the Observatory for a week. They'd have to let me bring the girls, though.