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One of Boulder's rare summer snowstorms, dumping ten inches of wet stuff on 20-21 September, threw the Mesa Lab into electrical purgatory. Power was down or intermittent for more than 24 hours. "It was by far the worst power hit anyone can remember," says John Sloan, head of the Scientific Computing Division's High-Performance Systems Section. SCD's operations room heated above 26 degrees C, and the outage kept the ML basement dusky during daylight hours. According to operator Chris Brady, "It was strange to be there in a room that's constantly light, noisy, and cool and experience it as dark, quiet, and warm." Some networking hardware and a power hub were lost, along with two disk drives on the mass storage system that had been due for replacement. Except for security guards, SCD operators, and a few other intrepid staff, the Mesa Lab was closed all day on the 21st. Other UCAR sites closed at noon as sagging tree limbs continued to crash into power lines and wreak havoc across town, as illustrated in this photo from south Boulder. For more details on the ML outage, check Lynda Lester's article "NCAR Snowed by Power Outage," on the Web at http://www.ucar.edu/WHATSNEW/powerout95/power.html. (Photo courtesy Matt Kelsch, NOAA.)

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
Last revised: Thu Mar 30 10:56:48 MST 2000