Thanks to our VolcanoCamHD camera manufacturer, we managed to manually correct the date. All it took was some electronic duct tape. We will monitor the camera during the weekend to see if there are any date and time issues when the date rolls over to the month of March tomorrow. Thank you to our VolcanoCam viewers who assisted us in our efforts.
Ah Houston, we've got a problem. The date stamp for the VolcanoCamHD is incorrect. (VolcanoCam Classic is just fine with Leap Day.) As one of our loyal VolcanoCam viewers pointed out to us, "According to the time stamp at the top of the frame it is showing what Mount St. Helens is going to look like tomorrow at this time. Where can I get one of those future-cams?"
Today is Leap Day. But VolcanoCamHD doesn't know that. Well, it does, and it doesn't. The software knows it. But the hardware clock chip doesn't and in the ensuing wrestling match, the hardware keeps winning. We've been in touch with the camera manufacturer who uncovered the problem as well today. Unfortunately, all attempts to manually reset the date have failed (The hardware keeps winning!).
So rather than lose the date/time stamp for the images, we placed the Leap Year notice on the image. As long as the notice remains on the image, that should tell you we haven't fixed the problem, something we really do want to fix right away. Ultimately, however, if this turns out to be a hardware issue, we may have to endure the incorrect date until we can physically access VolcanoCamHD. And with this winter's snowfall, that may not happen until May, probably June, or maybe even July.
View, glorious view! Just look at that volcano this morning! Clear skies with a hint of a cloud over the summit. The snowdrift in front of the cameras has melted just enough to offer perspective! Wow!
We had about a one-hour break in the clouds late yesterday morning to reveal Mount St. Helen is still there!! At the same time, drifting snow has completely blocked views from the VocanoCamHD, while a slowly growing drift in from of VolcanoCam Classic has covered more than half its view as of this morning. You might want to take a look at these images from last summer when we installed the new VolcanoCamHD camera. The distance from the ground to the cameras is somewhere near 20 feet.
Yup, we have a growing 20-foot snow drift in front of the cameras.
Nope, there is nothing we can do about it.
Winter refuses to release its icy grip on the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, and that includes Mount St. Helens. Snoqualmie Pass in the north (near Seattle) remains closed because of heavy snows and very high avalanche danger. Santiam Pass in Oregon (west of Bend) is also closed at this hour. And reports from locals with long memories are saying they haven't seen this much snow on Mount St. Helens, with more to come, in almost 30 years.
VolcanoCam views lately are restricted to clouds and fog, providing we can see through the icicles hanging down from the eaves of the Johnston Ridge Observatory, as well as what we are calling snow amoeba covering the camera windows on occasion. Right now the VolcanoCamHD view is almost blocked by wind-whipped snow on the camera view, while the VolcanoCam Classic view is clear. However, there is a growing line of something at the bottom of the VolcanoCam Classic view. This is reminiscent of several years ago when snow drifts blocked all views of Mount St. Helens. Perhaps this year we will again have 20-foot snowdrifts at the JRO.
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Will Mount St. Helens see its shadow or not? Will the VolcanoCams be able to see if Mount St. Helens sees its shadow or not? Will there be an early spring in the Cascade Range, or six more weeks of winter? Only the shadows know!