Alumni Profile - Caleb Meute

Caleb Meute

Caleb Meute

Class Year: 2012
Major: B.S. in Meteorology/Atmospheric Science
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This past May, I was lucky enough to have been chosen for an internship at the Mount Washington Observatory. Ever since I can remember, this mountain and the frequency of severe weather that it receives has really fascinated me. The summer internship ended in August, but I will now be staying for the fall internship which goes until the end of December.

As an avid severe weather enthusiast, I could not be more excited to experience winter in this extreme alpine climate. On average, in the winter months (October – May), the summit experiences hurricane force winds every other day, and 100 mph winds one out of every three days. The average snowfall during these months is 281 inches! Another common weather phenomenon up here is rime ice. Rime ice forms when super cooled water droplets moving through the air, collide with objects that are below freezing. This ice forms as long and feathery strands which grow into the direction that the wind is blowing from. When the weather is at its worst up here, rime ice can accrue up to 9 inches per hour!

The internship itself has been wonderful. The observatory rotates shifts every other week so each crew is on the summit from Wednesday-Wednesday and then has the following week off. This makes a really unique and cool environment as you are living with your co-workers for a week at a time. Some of my duties up here consist of composing a forecast each evening for the White Mountain range, radio broadcasting, assisting with hourly weather observations and giving tours of the observatory. As winter tightens its grip on the summit, I will also be responsible for shoveling doorways and de-icing the tower which holds our instrumentation. While this may seem daunting to many people, I cannot wait to experience the full fury this mountain has to offer in the coming months.