News: Talking about the Weather Eric Simonson - Basecamp Sat, April 21, 2001 6:25PM
What single topic is guaranteed to keep everyone speculating and discussing? What enters into every strategy discussion? What is the single thing that will have the most to do with our success or failure? Why of course, it’s the weather!
As we have for many years on Everest, we are getting our forecasts from the British Metrological Office, known as "Bracknell". In the past, groups of expeditions have banded together in various consortiums to pay for these forecasts, which are done on a custom basis, at a significant cost. Sometimes it has in past years become a bit testy as to who gets to see the forecast, depending on who has paid. This year that has changed with the generous contribution of the amazing Swedish couple, Tom and Tina Sjogren, themselves Everest summiteers. This year Tom and Tina contracted with Bracknell to do the forecasting and have distributed these to climbers for free.
Below is an example of what we are looking at for the next few days. Keep in mind that these forecasts are moving targets…after a couple days the accuracy drops off considerably. Since the strategy of going high on the mountain requires you to commit a number of days ahead of time, trying to pinpoint a "window" of good weather is always tricky.
You can see from this forecast that we are right on the edge of the jet stream. A little hiccup one way or the other could make a huge difference between getting blasted and getting a good day!
MOUNT EVEREST SYNOPSIS
A zone of moist air stretches from ME eastwards to northern Bhutan. Dry air to the west.
Wind over Mount Everest W/80 kt decreasing to W 60-70 kt. Position of the jet core:
across southernmost Nepal to Bhutan, just south of ME, moving a bit south.
A zone of moist air still stretches from ME eastwards to northern Bhutan. The jet core is
positioned south of ME, stretches over northernmost India to southernmost Bhutan. Wind
over ME W/50 kt.
Drier air moves in over ME and the moist air is situated over northern and eastern
Bhutan. Jet core moves a bit north and is situated just south of Katmandu to southernmost
Bhutan. Wind over ME increasing to NW/60-70 kt.
Moist air moves from northern Nepal eastwards to ME. Position of the jet core: Across
central Nepal over ME to southern Bhutan. Wind over Everest W-NW/80-90 kt.
A zone of moist air stretches from northern Nepal over ME to northern Bhutan. Position of
the jet core: Moving south and stretching from northern India over northernmost
Bangladesh. Wind over Everest W-NW/40-50kt.