Monday, 17 November 2008

Winter's approach

One of the webcams on the CFHT captured this strange looking image about an hour before sunset this evening. That's Gemini in the foreground right next to an ominous-looking wall of cloud.

The summit forecast for the next few days is dire and there's a good chance we'll get our first significant snowfall this winter:

"The tradewind inversion will remain elevated/indistinct near summit-level for at least this evening, then will likely completely fall apart allowing the air mass to become fairly saturated and unstable for the remainder of the forecast period. Consequently, there is a high risk for fog, ice and high humidity through the next 5 nights. Flurries, periods of heavy snow and thunderstorms are also possible, mainly for tomorrow and again around Thursday/Friday. Extensive afternoon clouds are expected throughout the forecast period."

You might want to keep an eye on the summit webcams if you're interested in seeing some snow on the summit, although many of them ice up in really poor conditions. Although we did get a little snow a few weeks ago it melted as soon as the sun rose, but assuming the current forecast is correct, then the snow might hang around for awhile since the temperatures won't get far above freezing and the clouds might prevent direct melting from sunlight. Good luck to anyone observing this week!

The mention of thunderstorms is the thing that makes me a little nervous. I used to love lightning displays, but my house has been struck several times recently by lightning, on one unforgettable evening three times in twenty minutes. I don't know if you've been inside a house when it's been struck, but it's a pretty frightening experience and now I get quite apprehensive whenever I hear thunder. Now, if I just figure out why my house seems to be such a lightning rod...


Zuzana said...

Ok, now I am confused; do you get snow in Hawaii??
But the photo is incredibly captivating; one cannot believe it is taken by a webcam.:)

Tom said...

Hello Protege! Yes, we do get snow here but only at the summits of the two largest volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. You can even ski on Mauna Kea if the snowfall is big enough! If you go back to a post of mine last week, "Midnight Sky", it contains a link to a video a group of talanted astronomers made just after our last big snowfall last winter.

Lou Minatti said...

Tom. You live in a tropical paradise and you can also ski if you wanted to. Plus you have the coolest job in the world. I hate you. :-)

Tom said...

But our gas prices are double yours, so I hate you too! ;)