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Bill O
06-19-2007, 10:23 AM
There's been a lot of talk about haze on the summit recently. And with good reason, its been hazy up there. Although, I'd put up a pretty good argument that the photo posted on this morning's web comment is not entirely haze.

I've never seen haze with such distinct edges. But then again, I've never lived at the top of the boundary layer. Well, I did, but it was winter.

While nobody is going to argue that the air quality is excellent, its not nearly as bad as the haze makes it look. I'd bet that 100 years ago it was much worse, at least in terms of visible pollutants. Ever see photos of London in the 1800's?

The average person looks at haze and thinks its pure pollutants. In reality its mostly water and mostly natural. 200 years ago, before the industrial revolution, they had haze. The east coast of the United States has a perfect climate/environment to form haze.

Don't get me wrong. Man made pollutants create haze, but its just one ingredient, haze also forms without our help. The biggest factor is the jet stream. Dry air from Canada versus moist air from the tropics.

Steve M
06-19-2007, 12:14 PM
The same sort of pattern seems to hold true in the summer as in winter. The North East seems to be a meeting place of air masses year round. The temp and humidity can be as bad there as it is in Florida at the same time of year. I have even seen it worse up there at times than it was in Florida. High humidity and haze, or fog is normal here in the South in the summer but it come and goes up there depending on the air mass in place at the time. The only difference between down here and up there is when it gets really humid and hazy up there people tend to drop out faster.

Bill O
06-19-2007, 01:00 PM
I agree. Its not uncommon for the northeast to have higher humidity than the southeast. Different types of forest give out more moisture. Actually, the corn belts in OH, IN, IL and IA are known to produce some very high dewpoints.

Charlie
06-19-2007, 08:50 PM
as long as it is a nice clear ,cool day on July 14 & 15 when i will be spending the night up on the big top .:D

Mike D
06-20-2007, 04:20 PM
The distinction I make is between "haze" (water vapor) and "smog" (man-made pollution). The thick, impenetrable blue is haze. The brown substance that sometimes rims the horizon is smog. Sometimes they are both present.

Someone with greater scientific knowledge might say otherwise...

Steve M
06-20-2007, 11:19 PM
The distinction I make is between "haze" (water vapor) and "smog" (man-made pollution). The thick, impenetrable blue is haze. The brown substance that sometimes rims the horizon is smog. Sometimes they are both present.

Someone with greater scientific knowledge might say otherwise...
Where does the "smog" come from up in Northern New Hampshire??? The winds would have to be from the south or SSW to get smog from CT or NY city. If the winds are out of the west the smog would have to travel from western NY State around the lakes all the way to the mountains of NH. I don't know of any other smog producing city or area large enough to affect the Whites.

Brad
06-21-2007, 04:55 AM
Where does the "smog" come from up in Northern New Hampshire??? The winds would have to be from the south or SSW to get smog from CT or NY city. If the winds are out of the west the smog would have to travel from western NY State around the lakes all the way to the mountains of NH. I don't know of any other smog producing city or area large enough to affect the Whites.
Bethlehem, NH? It is due west of the summit. :cool:

KD Talbot
06-21-2007, 06:19 AM
I am not an expert on air quality, but what I have learned is this: New England is the "tailpipe" of the US. Smog travels to us from the mid-west. steel plants, coal-fired energy plants, auto emissions, etc. We get it all. Also, over the last few years when there have been huge forest fires in Quebec and Ontario, we get the smoke. I've been on mountain tops with terrible visibility on bright, sunshiny days and had the smell of smoke burning my lungs. (And, no, it wasn't the Cog). Sometimes you can see a brown line above the horizon. I don't think theres any particular thing nearby, like in Bethlehem as Brad suggests, that is causing this. It is a culmination of pollution which comes our way from across the mid west and northeast parts of this country and southeastern Canada. I'm sure more knowledgable people will elaborate.

KDT

Brad
06-21-2007, 06:26 AM
. . . like in Bethlehem as Brad suggests . . .

KDT
Tongue in cheek

Steve M
06-21-2007, 08:01 AM
All right, lets not get into it here...your both right, OK!...lol :D

Mike D
06-21-2007, 10:03 AM
I'm not a scientist, but KD has it right. Our air quality scientists have traced air masses back to the source using wind data collected throughout the country. Indeed, New England sees many of the air masses as they exit the U.S. Thus the "tailpipe" analogy.

The point that this drives home for me is that we live in an increasingly global society. Sometimes Chinese pollution even hits the west coast. Laws are the only thing that stops at the border!


I am not an expert on air quality, but what I have learned is this: New England is the "tailpipe" of the US. Smog travels to us from the mid-west. steel plants, coal-fired energy plants, auto emissions, etc. We get it all. Also, over the last few years when there have been huge forest fires in Quebec and Ontario, we get the smoke. I've been on mountain tops with terrible visibility on bright, sunshiny days and had the smell of smoke burning my lungs. (And, no, it wasn't the Cog). Sometimes you can see a brown line above the horizon. I don't think theres any particular thing nearby, like in Bethlehem as Brad suggests, that is causing this. It is a culmination of pollution which comes our way from across the mid west and northeast parts of this country and southeastern Canada. I'm sure more knowledgable people will elaborate.

KDT

KD Talbot
06-21-2007, 07:59 PM
Sorry, Brad. I didn't catch on to the humor of it. It was too early in the morning, still on my first cup of coffee. I should have realized you were joking. I was thinking maybe you knew of a coal fired power plant there or something. Maybe Bethlehem Steel? I'm too smoggy in the morning to be very quick at catching on. You gotta kinda dump hot coffee on my head.
KDT

Brad
06-21-2007, 08:15 PM
One guy comes on late and does not catch my humor. And you are up on the computer before a cup of coffee and miss my humor. Maybe I should give up and be serious for a change. Nah, not much chance . . .

For the folks who have never been to Bethlehem, NH, it is a small sleepy, vacation, wonderful type of town. In the summer there are a few big old Inns folks from away used to come to. A few summer camps for kids and plenty of golf courses. Well, that was how it was when I was there in the late 1950's. I am sure it has not changed much. They may even have folks there in the winter now. The chances of Bethlehem producing smog is zip.

Steve M
06-21-2007, 08:17 PM
Sorry, Brad. I didn't catch on to the humor of it. It was too early in the morning, still on my first cup of coffee. I should have realized you were joking. I was thinking maybe you knew of a coal fired power plant there or something. Maybe Bethlehem Steel? I'm too smoggy in the morning to be very quick at catching on. You gotta kinda dump hot coffee on my head.
KDT

yea, me too. Brad is usually up at 4:00 am so by 7 he's wide awake. Me, I'm lucky to be up by 7 most days.;)

Brad
06-21-2007, 08:35 PM
yea, me too. Brad is usually up at 4:00 am so by 7 he's wide awake. Me, I'm lucky to be up by 7 most days.;)
Nope - the alarm goes off at 4:30 AM. I head to work whenever I think I am done and am ready to head out the door. By 7AM I am in the car having finished my first status call.

My kids laugh that this is the new definition of "Bankers' Hours".

Steve M
06-21-2007, 09:57 PM
You know, it is sometimes hard to capture humor when reading text. If you are going to be funny, at least post with a :D or;) or:) or maybe a ...lol. Those faces on the right can be very helpful to slow people like me.:confused:

Brad
06-22-2007, 05:51 AM
You know, it is sometimes hard to capture humor when reading text. If you are going to be funny, at least post with a :D or;) or:) or maybe a ...lol. Those faces on the right can be very helpful to slow people like me.:confused:
I agree the little Smiles on the right can help show the real meaning of a post. Since I did include one in my post #7 above, it is clear that before 7AM one is not enough. :rolleyes: So, I will work on using more of them for posts that are BC or LAN. That is Before Coffee or Late At Night. :D

Back on topic - - - I can remember in the mid to late 1970's the water at the lake in Maine was dirty, soapy, and even had orange suds floating on it. Drive across NH and you could smell the pulp mills. We have done a good job since then cleaning up a lot of the area. The lake is pristine clean. Loons are all over the place and the water is clear. The smells of industry have gone down a lot too. We need to keep up the focus and continue to make progress.

KD Talbot
06-22-2007, 06:15 AM
No, Bethlehem hasn't changed at all. I'm up every day at 5AM and by 7AM I've been at work for an hour, so Brad's not that far ahead of me. Being up and at work doesn't mean I'm awake, though. I didn't even notice the smiley on his post the first time I read it. I didn't think it was a dumb suggestion, either. Oil furnaces, woodstoves, auto emissions, diesel, etc all contribute to the smog we see. You should see the wood smoke over the ice on my pond when the conditions are right.

KDT

Steve M
06-22-2007, 07:29 AM
I don't know anything about Bethlehem so you could tell me it is the dirtiest city in NH and I couldn't argue. I know that wood burning up north is a major contributor to smog in the winter but for me that is a natural smog. The soot or ashes can actually benefit the water and land because of the mineral content. Petroleum based product on the other hand produce smog that is not beneficial to nature. At least not in the short term.

Look at that, all BC!:D

Bill O
06-27-2007, 03:17 PM
Does anybody know how far apart the Ravines Cam and the Presidentials Cam are from Mount Washington? My guess was 5 and 8 miles, respectively.

I wonder because that 3 miles seems to make a huge difference in visibility. Mount Washington is hazy, but still visible from Wildcat, and almost totally obscured from Bretton Woods.

Or, is there a different air mass on that side of the mountain?

hobbes
06-27-2007, 04:57 PM
If memory serves, Ravines is 5 miles (8km) away.

KD Talbot
06-27-2007, 05:11 PM
Going by my ruler and my AMC map that measurement of 5 miles from Wildcat is right on. However, the measurement from Mount Oscar (Bretton Woods) to the summit is harder to come by as they are not on the same map. I think Bill's estimate of 8 miles is probably very close, though.

It seems all the junk travelling west to east is all stuck against the Presidential Ridge and doesn't want to move up and over, causing it to be much more hazy on the west side than on the east. Just my opinion, I'm sure someone more knowledgable could confirm or reject this theory.

KDT

Bill O
06-27-2007, 07:30 PM
Now that I think about it that 3 miles is a big difference. If those measurements are correct the Presi cam is 60% farther away. Its also looking through 60% more air particles than the Ravines Cam. Not a trivial amount.

I also think that Kevin is right. The air to the west of the Presidentials should contain more particulate matter and ozone.

6288
06-28-2007, 12:42 PM
Interesting article here (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/NEAQS/NEAQSpresentations/angevinetalk.pdf) on the tailpipe theory.

KD Talbot
06-28-2007, 07:03 PM
So, if I'm reading this right, the article is saying that northern New England's pollution is coming from Boston and New York and is blown north and west by sea breezes.

Could be true. I'm no scientist. Just seems the opposite of what I've heard and read.

KDT

6288
06-28-2007, 07:48 PM
I think this is just one study of one potential source of pollutants. I still would not disregard other sources.

Steve M
06-28-2007, 10:49 PM
I'm sure when the winds are right a lot of pollutants come out of places like Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and even Ottawa and Montreal.

Patrad Fischroy
07-02-2007, 08:49 AM
Just a little difference in visibility right now from Wildcat and from Bretton Woods. Might be a little more than just due to the difference in distance.