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ABCâs Good Morning America Visits MWO for Monday National Broadcast

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH – Meteorologist Sam Champion and a crew of ten people from ABC’s Good Morning America visit the Mount Washington Observatory this weekend to prepare for a live national broadcast. Mount Washington’s extreme weather and the work of the Mount Washington Observatory will be featured on Monday’s broadcast of Good Morning America, which will be seen by nearly 5 million viewers nationwide. Champion will also be doing Good Morning America’s live national weather breaks each half hour from the Observatory.

Monday’s broadcast of Good Morning America can be seen on channel 9 (WMUR-TV, Manchester) or channel 8 (WMTW-TV, Portland) from 7:00 to 9:00 AM.

Broadcasting live from the tallest peak in the northeastern United States, a place notorious for extreme weather, is quite a logistical challenge. The New York City-based crew from Good Morning America begins to arrive on the summit of Mount Washington on Friday. Television gear and ABC crew members will be loaded into Observatory vehicles at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and ferried up to the two-mile mark, where the Observatory’s 12-passenger Bombardier snow-tractor will be waiting. The snow-tractor will ascend the remaining six snow-covered miles to the summit, where the wind, snow and cold of winter is very much in place.

Two round trips take place on Friday as well as one on Saturday and one on Sunday to deliver all the gear and personnel to the Observatory’s remote mountaintop location. After the Good Morning America broadcast ends on Monday morning, it all happens again in reverse, ferrying personnel and equipment back down the mountain and back to New York.  

“Coordinating a visit like this is really challenging,” says Ken Rancourt, the Observatory’s Director of Summit Operations, who coordinated visits from The Weather Channel, the CBS Early Show, CBS Evening News, National Geographic and other media outlets last winter. “We try our best, but Mother Nature always has the final say.”

Typically, if winds crest the 100-mph mark or if visibility is dangerously poor, snow-tractor trips to the summit are postponed until safer conditions prevail. While winter weather is in the forecast for the higher elevations during the visit from Good Morning America, it does not appear to be bad enough to affect the crew’s travel plans. Plus, winter weather is why they’re visiting the Observatory.

“It looks we’re in for a mixed bag of weather through the weekend,” says Mount Washington Observatory meteorologist Stacey Kawecki. “That’s exactly what they are looking for during their visit. If Monday ended up being a beautiful morning with calm winds and blue skies, I think they would be pretty disappointed.”

“People have a fascination with extreme weather,” says Scot Henley, Mount Washington Observatory executive director. “I’m proud that ABC chose to travel here to Mount Washington to take a look at our own famous weather extremes and to explore the lives of those who live and work in those conditions here at the Observatory.”

For the Mount Washington region and its numerous ski resorts, early winter publicity like this is always appreciated. “National media exposure like this is great for the region as a whole,” says Henley. “It’s the beginning of ski season and I’m sure the ski areas will be happy that a large television audience will see lots of white in the mountains of New Hampshire.”

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, member-supported organization 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 in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information visit, MountWashington.org

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