Thursday, 23 October 2008

Winter's first snowfall?

This is a summary of the next few days' weather expected at the Mauna Kea summit provided by the clever folk at the MKWC. It doesn't look promising. The red bars at the top are bad news for astronomers and combined with the predicted temperatures we might get our first snow of the winter after the weekend. At least the telescope operators might be able to catch up on some sleep. There are always good sides to everything.

If it does snow we're prepared as ever - the studded tyres are on our 4-wheel drives and snow chains are always available if needed. It shouldn't be too bad though, the snow and ice generally melts quickly at this time of year, but the next few months are when Mauna Kea often experiences severe weather. My night-time schedule is non-existent for the next six weeks, but I'll be up during the day working on an instrument upgrade project. It's a tight schedule and bad weather could be disastrous to the plan, so I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come.

In the meantime, Hilo just keeps plodding along, the next five days are expected to be: "mostly cloudy", "intervals of clouds and sunshine with a shower in spots", "intervals of clouds and sun with a shower in the area", "times of sun and clouds with a shower in places" and finally "times of clouds and sun with a stray shower".

Variety is the spice of life.

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