Why is Mount Washington Observatory’s record of hourly weather observations so vital to climate research? What makes the observatory so unique? We often talk about the importance of our work at the summit and how crucial your support is to collecting continuous weather and climate data, but why these causes are important is not always clear.
The Longevity of our Core Asset: Consistent & High-Quality Data
Our nearly 90-year dataset of hourly observations is the core of our mission and crucial to scientists conducting climate research.
“Generally, datasets over 80 years old are the backbone of climate change research. The 80-year mark is a NOAA requirement for historical datasets within their COOP network. These are the station data used by researchers to identify global warming. There are very few of these stations at high elevations and sounding measurements are limited in time and space. So MWO’s record is essential for understanding how climate has changed at high elevations.” – Mary Stampone – MWO Trustee and New Hampshire State Climatologist
Unique Advantages of a Staffed “Weather Balloon”
Collecting weather and climate data in the troposphere is usually done by launching a temporary weather balloon. Our weather station, run year-round in the alpine zone by observers, verifying data and maintaining instrumentation, acts as a fixed weather balloon in the sky. This allows our dataset to have variables like visibility, humidity and wind speed that are essential to observing environmental changes beyond temperature and precipitation, to which most historical climate stations are limited. We have more data and more information to support more research on our weather patterns and changing climate.
The Observatory’s longevity and uniqueness are critical for researchers, meteorologists and educators to understand climate trends in the alpine zone, which can help us understand impacts on ecology and human activities that depend on winter weather in the White Mountains region and the entire Northeast. As we move forward, we want to expand our research opportunities and leverage the full value of our climate data to shape sound decision-making. To do this, we need your help!
MWObs Summit Team…(Top l-r)Ryan Knapp, Jay Broccolo, Jackie Bellefontaine, (Middle) Rebecca Scholand, (Bottom l-r) Sam Robinson, Nicole Tallman, David DeCou.
Your donations help with the additional resources we need to conduct our own research and to partner with researchers and organizations at the top of their fields like Synoptic Data and Campbell Scientific
A donation of $5,000 could help us upgrade facilities on the summit to create a true research-grade laboratory for visiting scientists. A gift of $1,000 covers the annual cost of calibrating instruments on two of our mesonet stations. $500 could support part of the publication costs associated with submitting and revising manuscripts for a scientific journal. Your donation to our non-profit ensures continuous scientific discovery and understanding of our earth’s climate.
Learn more about our research projects including our Visibility Database Project, Temperature Database Project and more on our Current Research
Interim Executive Director