Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth’s weather and climate. It serves this mission by maintaining a weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, performing weather and climate research, conducting innovative science education programs, and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region.
Mount Washington Observatory’s mountaintop weather station is the core of the institution. Staffed continuously since the organization’s founding, it is operated by two alternating crews who live on the summit for a week at a time, taking hourly weather observations, performing research, and conducting educational programs.
Weather observations are reported to the National Weather Service for use in nationwide forecasting models and regional reports, and Observatory scientists produce specialized forecasts for the higher summits of the White Mountains and greater White Mountains region.
With detailed climate data dating back to the organization’s founding, Mount Washington Observatory maintains what is now one of North America’s longest continuous climate records.
In addition to weather observation, the Observatory utilizes its state-of-the-art summit facility as a benchmark research station, collaborating with universities, governmental agencies, and private companies on many types of weather and climate research. Recent projects have studied rime ice formation, air pollutant trends, the effects of climate change on high altitude environments, global tropospheric chemistry, and more.
Located 6,288 feet above sea level with immediate access to the extreme conditions of the alpine zone, Mount Washington Observatory also partners with manufacturers to conduct product testing.
An international resource for weather and climate education, Mount Washington Observatory conducts classroom and distance learning programs, museum workshops and symposia, and educational trips to the summit in summer and winter. The Observatory also maintains two unique science museums: the Weather Discovery Center in downtown North Conway, NH, and Extreme Mount Washington on the summit of Mount Washington.
Through all of its efforts, Mount Washington Observatory connects the public with the awe and wonder of the natural world, igniting a passion for science, the mountains, and the outdoors. Serving not only as experts in the field of extreme weather, the Observatory has also emerged as the voice of Mount Washington. Through this website, daily radio reports, frequent high-level exposure in national news media, strategic partnerships with leaders in the outdoor industry, and far-reaching educational outreach efforts, Mount Washington Observatory’s mission and work reaches millions of individuals each year.