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07:45 Wed Dec 12, 2018

Final Thoughts on my Internship

What an experience this half year had been! I cannot believe I’ve been an intern up here since late May, time truly flew by. Time to recap on some of the notable experiences I had this summer and fall. I’ve wanted to work on Mount Washington since I can remember. My grandfather told me a story of him and friends getting stuck in a Memorial Day blizzard to me at a very young age. Hearing this and my already obsession with weather at a very young age, I knew I had to be atop the tallest mountain in New England with “the world’s most extreme weather”. I climbed the mountain with my dad and grandfather when I was 11 years old. Working and being an intern on Mount Washington was a dream growing up.

After applying for the internship twice, my dream came true. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from SUNY Oswego in May. After graduation, I would soon be on the road up to NH. Climbing the Auto Road was breathtaking, and walking in the MWOBS Tower was fanaticizing. My first week up here, I couldn’t believe it was happening. Experiencing winds of 60-80 mph was insane to me! I could barely stand. I would learn throughout this experience that these winds were child’s play. The second week of my internship was probably one of the greatest things I had ever seen. My favorite cloud, lenticular’s, in a massive show.
 

This lenticular formed in so many different shapes the whole day of June 10th. I was jaw dropped, how could this place get better already? So many different experiences I could write about. There are really too many to describe. Maybe I should write a book. Later in the summer on August 30th, we had the most stunning sunset I had ever seen. 

 

This picture does not do a justice to the overall sight we saw. An undercast sunset, how could it get better? I’m not really sure if it could. We were an island in a sea of clouds for the only people to see, an unforgettable sight and moment. Alright, what should I share next? All of the sights I saw were shared by the people I was around this summer and fall. From the other observers to my fellow interns and museum attendant, Ben Seleb, Emily Tunkel, and Tessa Mueller. Lifelong friendships were made. A lot of experiences and memories are skipped in this blog simply because I would be writing a book. I’m really considering writing a book now.

By far the most insane weather condition I have ever experienced was on November 3rd, where we had a peak wind gust of 125 mph! While I was not outside in this wind gust, I was outside in a wind gust of 115 mph. A category 3 hurricane or an EF-2 tornado. A got knocked off my feet and rolled on the deck, unhurt luckily. This experience was the most thrilling thing ever. This extremity is part of the reason I am obsessed with weather. Once again, another dream come true experience.

Other experiences from this internship that are long lasting memories are the educational accelerant’s I gained. I completed two research projects this internship: Mesonet Voltage Research and a Snow depth study. Ben and I were able to correlate how the solar panels on the White Mountain mesonet stations correlate to sunshine and sometimes do not correlate. This was research new to me in the meteorological and engineering field. A great experience and educational outlet where I learned a lot. The other research I completed was a study to measure snow depth on the summit in a more accurate approach than the observatory currently does. Furthermore, I went on other educational outlets to make a terminology guide of the weather terms we use in our higher summits forecast. So many research assignments but so little time and space to describe them! Ok, one more. The time I gave to weather station tours was unforgettable. I learned a lot about communication skills from giving several tours a day. It was really fun and humbling to make adults, children’s, and families summer by showing the observatory off and what we do. People are amazed by sights and work we do up here for good reason. It is humbling and I feel incredibly grateful to work at the Mount Washington Observatory.

Back to some more pictures to close out this blog and internship experience. The stars and night sky were incredible this summer fall. Check this out!

 

This internship was a dream come true and over-fulfilled my goals and expectations. The experiences I shared in this blog were some of the noteworthy ones, but no where near all the memorable ones. The Mount Washington Observatory helped me become a better, smarter, and more appreciative individual through this internship.

 


Zach Butler, Summit Intern
  
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