16:12 Mon Jul 19, 2021
A Dream Coming Back as Weather Observer, Come True
Stephen Durham, Weather Observer/Education Specialist
In January of 2019, it was a once in a lifetime experience interning at the Mt. Washington Observatory for two weeks straight. Since then, I had hoped to return to the observatory one day again, to experience and enjoy the thrilling and extreme weather, I get that opportunity again now as a weather observer and educational specialist.
July 2021 Sunrise
The weeks and days leading up to my first to trip to the summit were surreal and hadn’t really set in until driving to the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road this past Wednesday. There has always been a special connection for myself and Mt. Washington since even before my internship.
It was a unique place I had seen on television and my dad has always talked about it when I was younger from visiting New Hampshire before. When it came to college after high school, I found Plymouth State University and became interested in their meteorology program.
When I first visited Plymouth State University in February of 2014, I learned about the highly valued internship through the meteorology program. My first goal then when I got to Plymouth State was to eventually pursue that amazing opportunity.
That exact chance came when I found out in November 2018 with an email, learning I had been given the opportunity and would be going up to the summit for two straight weeks in January. It was surreal just to know I'd have that opportunity heading into the new year. In those two weeks, the experience of weather is unlike anything else.
My first day up-bound, was crystal clear, could see the Atlantic Ocean, and just miles upon miles. It was just an incredible day, just like the perfect way to start my internship. One of the most amazing experiences was a few days later. We had calm winds on an early morning, received several inches of snow, and just felt like a perfect snowy morning. A few hours later, winds increased across the higher summits, with wind gusts over the century mark! It was an all-out blizzard, a meteorologist dream come true.
January 2019 Sunset
After experiencing such extreme weather and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, I wanted more, I felt determined to return one day as a weather observer. I felt like two weeks wasn’t enough at the summit. It is my dream job to be here at the Mt. Washington Observatory. Tuesday night before my first up-bound trip to the summit, I felt like a kid on the night before Christmas, excited and just ready for the new challenges that lay ahead being a weather observer and educational specialist.
You know you are in the right place in life when you wake up excited to do your job, as the common saying goes by Marc Anthony, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and I get to do that each day observing and forecasting weather in a location that I adore, love, and care about greatly. I can’t wait for the coming days, weeks, and months ahead here at the Mount Washington Observatory.
11:25 Mon Jul 05, 2021
Seek the Peak 2021
The non-profit Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) announces
the gathering of local non-profits that promote safe and responsible outdoor
recreation in the state of NH as an important addition to their largest annual
fundraiser Seek the Peak - Mount Washington Adventure Expo.
In an expanded event this year, Seek the Peak will culminate Saturday, July 17th from 12-7pm at the Adventure Expo, taking place at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. Included in the expo will be an extensive vendor village supported by anchor sponsors Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out Tour, Eastern Mountain Sports, Oboz Footwear, and Granite Outdoor Alliance.
Each exhibiting vendor will be paired with a local nonprofit organization that helps visitors and all adventure enthusiasts safely and responsibly utilize the region’s outdoor resources. Non-profits will include the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), White Mountain Trail Collective, Granite Outdoor Alliance, Science on the Fly, Confluence Collective, Trout Unlimited, Protect our Winters, XNH Adventure Trails, NH Outdoor Council, The Access Fund, and Ability Plus. All vendors will have representatives from their booths to answer questions, share their work and even lead clinics. Various topics will include a demonstration from AMC experts on their iNaturalist app, fly fishing demonstrations with Trout Unlimited, and encouragement of advocacy by Protect our Winters to name a few.
“Volunteers with Protect Our Winters are thrilled for the opportunity to be included in this event and to be supporting the work of the observatory,” said POW New England Alliance member Anne Geisler. “As part of our exhibit we will encourage guests to contact their local representatives to support investments in clean energy and protect our public lands. Anyone who takes that action will be entered into a raffle to win a POW Prize Pack.”
The Adventure Expo also includes live music from the Mountain Bear Band and Shark Martin, plus Mount Washington Radio Groups and food trucks Kimberly's Gluten Free Kitchen, Tin Can Company, and Crescent City Kitchen & KozBar. Participants of Seek the Peak get free entry to the event as part of their fundraising efforts. The event is open to the general public and guests can join the Expo for $10 and kids under age 12 are free. Sorry, no dogs allowed. Visit www.seekthepeak.org to register today.
Happening July 16-17, 2021, Seek the Peak raises a significant portion of the Observatory’s annual budget to support its work in weather observation, education and climate research atop Mount Washington.
All activities will be prepared with COVID protocols in place and CDC guidelines will be followed.
Visit www.mountwashington.org to learn more about the Observatory’s work, how to become a member and other interesting happenings.
Seek the Peak is made possible with support from additional sponsors including The Mt. Washington Auto Road., Martini Northern, First Light, White Mountain Oil, Eastern Slope Inn, Northway Bank, Melcher Prescott Insurance, Settlers Green, Delta Dental and WMWV 93.5.
About Mount Washington Observatory:
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org
Krissy Fraser, Director of Marketing & Communications