A Dream Coming Back as Weather Observer, Come True

2021-07-19 16:12:27.000 – 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.

January 2019  

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.


Stephen Durham, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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