I got a copy of the big announcement coming out today. Now this is cool!
North Conway, NH
April 1, 2009
Mt Washington has been known for its extreme weather conditions. With the 75th anniversary of the 231 mile per hour record wind the Mount Washington Observatory is announcing a major new service for its members. For years the Observatory has had staff living on the summit recording weather conditions, maintaining equipment and feeding web camera images to their web site for all to enjoy.
Today for its over 4,000 members, the organization offers "Premium Content" with special weekly broadcasts, high resolution web camera images, and sunrise and sunset videos each day. With this exciting announcement members will be able to see and feel the weather on each of the Presidential range summits. Over the next 8 months special equipment will be installed on tree-pods on each summit. The data and images will be sent back to the Observatory's summit data center and then fed to the web server. Never before has such a project been done. But, the technical staff for the Observatory have figured out how to make this work and are ready to start the installation process. This is another all-time first for the Mt Washington Observatory.
The new features will have two different aspects. One will be a set of web cameras mounted on a tree-pod which is firmly fastened to the rock on each mountain summit. Imagine a camera tri-pod but instead of one mount at the top for the camera, the tree-pod has a set of cameras mounted in a circle around the top of the tree-pod. Members will be able to select which mountain to view. Once a camera is assigned to them they will see that camera's image. Then they will have the ability to go to the next or previous camera in the circle. Therefore, it will be like they are standing on the summit of Mt Adams looking around a 360 degree view.
The other feature being announced today is a second camera which will be mounted on each tree-pod. When a member selects this feature they will see that camera's image. As the wind speed increases the camera will be rotated around the tree-pod by the force of the wind. The faster the wind - the faster the camera will rotate. This will give a very good feeling of the weather conditions on that summit.
Today's announcement is expected to bring in a flood of visitors to the Observatory's web site (www.mountwashington.org) . Therefore, additional server capacity has already been put in place to handle the traffic. Executive Director Sam Huntley has been unavailable to make a comment for this announcement. He was viewing the spinning web camera on Mt Madison when a 95 MPH gust came through. Sam was slightly hurt when he fell over and was rushed to the hospital. He is expected to be back later today for the public announcement.
Have a great April 1st.