16:54 Sun Aug 18, 2019
The Season's End (My Internship in Review)
It feels just like yesterday that it was the end of May and I was making my first trip up to the Summit on the once slushy, icy Auto Road. It is now my final week and I have had a while to reflect on my experience working for the observatory and I would like to share it with everyone.
I have been a part of or have experienced many forms of extreme weather from supercells to impressive snowstorms, but Mount Washington was and is something else. My first week up here I was treated to winds of 100+ mph and was able to be outside for that event. Despite being at the end of the winter season, I still caught a glimpse of rime ice on the tower. I got my first taste of hiking the Whites and I got the chance to fall in love with the State of New Hampshire.
This internship has built confidence in my skills as a meteorologist. mountain meteorology is a challenge for forecasters and I had many weeks to face it. It has expanded the tools I use to forecast (Skew-T's are your friends up here) as well as given me a great amount of exposure to interacting with the public through giving tours and conversating with guests in the museum. It solidified my reason for being a meteorologist which is giving and communicating information to people. Every day up here brought something new, whether it be a foot race up the mountain or gathering in the weather room to watch lightning light up the sky. Through my experiences here I feel like I have built up a work ethic that is viable in the professional world, spending a week on a mountain peak to perform your job is notable already, but seeing the tasks observers do every day has given me a new respect for people in my field.
I could fill-up the whole websites with stories from my time here, but I think should highlight what I can take away and give to others from this experience. If you are in college or trying to find your way in your professional field, search every corner of that field for opportunities. Opportunities come in many forms, whether it be an internship you happen to come upon online or the people in your field your network. I was able to find this experience through my friend and one of my mentors on the Summit, Ian Bailey. At this point in your career, leave nothing to chance and never stop being hungry for experience.
The last thing I would like to say is for anyone who supports the Observatory, thank you and for anyone who is curious, please consider it. Entities like Mount Washington Observatory are key players in the field of science. Organizations like them that strive to educate people and further science through research are important in the process of creating future scientists and generating respect and support for scientific goals.
I would like to thank the Observatory for offering me this experience. I will forever cherish this as I head to Millersville, Pennsylvania for my graduate studies where the weather isn't so extreme.
(Photo credit: Kimberly Stinson)
Austin Patrick, Summit Intern