mt washington observatory
Founded in 1932, Mt. Washington Observatory in New Hampshire works to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. With more than eight decades of comprehensive and consistent climate data documented, Mt Washington Observatory’s scientific research focuses on regional climate, air quality, mountain meteorology and icing and its impact on ecosystems and human health.
Today, Mt Washington Observatory has a network of 19 remote weather stations located at 1000 foot intervals along the Mt Washington Auto Road, leading up to the Summit at 6,288 feet, as well as several other high elevation sites. Each station is equipped with instruments and equipment to make observations of atmospheric conditions and environmental data which is used by weather forecasters to create the latest forecast model and by researchers to study the long-term effect of weather and climate on ecosystems.
With a grant of $15,000 from the Woodard & Curran Foundation, Mt Washington Observatory was able to upgrade and expand this network to provide four new weather stations along the route where there were gaps as well as to add ice resistant anemometers, which measure the force and velocity of wind, to three existing stations.
One of these station additions sits in the valley next to the Mt Washington Observatory and Weather Discovery Center office in North Conway. This station will provide important comparative data in contrast to data collected at the summit. In addition, this station is of particular importance due to its use as a STEM educational tool for both the Weather Discovery Center and the nearby elementary school, which brings classes of future meteorologists daily to check on the stations precipitation measurements.
Capturing the data from these weather stations has the capability to help save lives, reduce energy consumption, improve forecasts, educate the next generation of citizens and contribute to research.