"Q" is for Quick Change In The Weather

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Visitor's ABC's

By John Hirtle, Beach News Staff

Beach News, Thursday, August 4, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of Beach News]
Each year, the Beach News is proud to feature an unique ongoing series of articles concerning interesting facts about the region's places and history. This year, we will be doing a virtual visitor's ABCs of the Seacoast region.

An old New Hampshire adage goes "If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes."

It is an accurate statement that the region’s weather is difficult to predict. Air Force weather forecasters at the former Pease Air Force Base had a harder time predicting the fickle changes of New Hampshire’s weather than they did predicting the weather in Anchorage Alaska.

There are two reasons for this phenomenon.

The first is that New England lies right in the center of three major weather tracks. That is to say, if a major storm is coming from the west, north or south, it is going to pass directly over part of New England.

The second lies further north in the White Mountains. As the weather system passes by, it runs directly into Mount Washington, the tallest mountain on the East Coast. Like a wave at the seashore, the storms slam into that and other towering peaks as it tries to pass by. The result is a forecaster’s nightmare, as the storm breaks up and tries to reform as it continues onward. One patch of clouds might rain over Rye while skies remain blue and clear over Hampton Beach.

While no one can predict the weather with 100% certainty on the Seacoast, it is prone to change quickly - although you can take heart that more often than not, the few stormy clouds passing by overhead will quickly give way to the sunny blue skies of summertime, allowing you to have a great time at the beach.

"Q" is also for:
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