Thursday, October 29, 2009
The long dry interval at the summit is over, and snow is again accumulating for the first time since mid-June. Our recent fieldwork aspired to visit the glaciers just before the short rains began, and it seems that our timing worked out. After descending on the 9th, we experienced a heavy, extended rain event the next day at Mbahe (near Marangu). Humidity remained high that afternoon at the AWS, with possibly a dusting of snow. Then snow and sustained high humidity was recorded on the 15th and 16th; during this time Simon reports spending a "hot night" in the crater (i.e., thick cloud cover). AWS measurements show that the wet season really got underway this week on Monday. Telemetry through this morning shows that snowfall continued through Tuesday and Wednesday, with a net of ~4 cm. This is enough to bring the glacier surface albedo up by 20-30 percent!