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Mount Washington Observatory Observer Blog

Meet MWOBS/MWAC Intern Laura Wilson

Meet MWOBS/MWAC Intern Laura Wilson By Laura Wilson Hi! I’m Laura Wilson, the winter intern for both the Mount Washington Observatory and the USFS Mount Washington Avalanche Center, and I am so stoked to be up here! Growing up in Maine, I’ve always had a fascination with the nearby White Mountains. It’s a dream come true to live at the summit throughout all the incredible winter conditions. During high school, I attended Gould Academy in Bethel, ME and spent a great deal of time training as a biathlete in nearby Jackson NH. My fondest memories are of foliage filled

February 20th, 2024|

MWOBS’ Education Team Launches Virtual Programs for the 2024 Solar Eclipse

MWOBS’ Education Team Launches Virtual Programs for the 2024 Solar Eclipse By Alex Branton We are just 9 weeks away from the Great American Eclipse of 2024, and the Mount Washington Observatory is preparing for the event by offering new education programs. This year on Monday, April 8th, all of North America will have the opportunity to view at least a partial solar eclipse. The path of total solar eclipse will pass over northern New England, while the rest of the region will experience at least a 90% obscuration of the sun by the moon. While most of the

February 6th, 2024|

Remembering Marty

Remembering Marty By Ken Rancourt | January 25, 2024 Known throughout New England as "Marty on the Mountain," Marty Engstrom passed away on Jan. 4 at his home in Fryeburg, ME, according to his family. He was 86 years old. Engstrom worked for 38 years on Mount Washington as an engineer at the WMTW transmission station; he wrote about his experiences in his 2003 book titled “Marty on the Mountain: 38 Years on Mount Washington.” Marty was already on the Mountain for over ten years when I met him in the fall of 1979. Guy Gosselin's (Obs Director) assistant,

January 26th, 2024|

Living in Winter Wonderland

Living in a Winter Wonderland By Tricia Hutton Hi! I’m Tricia, an intern at Mount Washington Observatory. I am just a few days into my internship at MWO and it has already exceeded all my expectations and dreams. Every day I have stated that it cannot get better than this—and day after day I am amazed. I am beyond thankful that this is just the beginning. I cannot believe I have the opportunity to come back up to the Observatory at shift change every other week through May. My first few days consisted of near-zero visibility, but I found

January 15th, 2024|

An Observer Reflects on 2023

An Observer Reflects on 2023 By Francis Tarasiewicz 2023 will undoubtedly go down in history as a year marked by extraordinary occurrences. From prolonged periods of intense warmth pushing the planet beyond the critical 1.5°C threshold to instances of flooding, wildfires, and unexpected polar vortex intrusions, the past year was a rollercoaster of meteorological phenomena for Earth's inhabitants. At the Home of the World’s Worst Weather, where resilience in the face of extremes is a way of life, we embrace weather that tests our limits. For more than 90 years, the summit has attracted scientists positioned between thrill-seekers and

January 11th, 2024|

2023 By The Numbers

2023 by the Numbers By Ryan Knapp January has arrived, a time to not only look forward to what might occur in the coming year, but also look back and reflect on the previous year. Looking back at weather stats, I would summarize 2023 weather conditions on the summit as warm, wet (but not snowy), and foggy. To find out why I've chosen these words, let's look back at some of the stats from 2023. Our average temperature for 2023 was 30.4°F (-0.9°C), which is 2.4°F above the 1991-2020 30-year normal for our station. This would make the annual

January 6th, 2024|

Snow on the Way

Snow on the Way By Alexis George After a December to remember (or forget, depending on your preferred weather), in which much of the Northeast experienced warm temperatures and a snowfall deficit, it finally looks like snow is on the way! A strong El Nino pattern has had a major impact on weather conditions across the Northeast and will continue to affect weather conditions going forward this winter. El Nino causes the Pacific jet to move south and then spread farther east of its neutral position. This can lead to a slow start to the winter, with the Northeast

January 5th, 2024|

The Shared History of AMC and the Mount Washington Observatory

The Shared History of AMC and the Mount Washington Observatory By Matt Morris | December 13, 2023 Courtesy of the Mount Washington Observatory Library. April 11, 1934: It was relatively warm on the summit of Mount Washington. Below freezing, but not by much. But more comfortable temperatures were not a reason for relief for the staff of the Mount Washington Observatory. Two walls of the Observatory building were caked in ice nearly a foot deep and the wind was picking up. The observers decided to stay up in shifts that night, taking measurements with a radio to

January 2nd, 2024|

Rain-On-Snow: A Closer Look at December’s Unprecedented Flooding

Rain-On-Snow: A Closer Look at December's Unprecedented Flooding By Charlie Peachey The December 18-19 storm that produced unprecedented flooding across most of New England will be remembered by most as one of the most impactful storms in recorded history. Most stream gauges along rivers in and around the White Mountains measured their highest or second-highest flood totals. The last time that flooding of this magnitude was observed was during Hurricane Irene. Even days after the rain stopped, many rivers in the area were still considered to be at a moderate flood stage. Significant damage was also done to local

December 27th, 2023|

My Obs Journey: Beginning my Scientific Career in the Mountains

My Obs Journey: Beginning my Scientific Career in the Mountains By Amy Cotter As my fall internship at Mount Washington Observatory comes to a close, I find my last week as a summit intern to be both bittersweet and fulfilling. I’ve been on the summit every other week for the past 4 months, and as I reflect on my time here, I recall many memories, both good and challenging. I’ve had the unique opportunity to grow here both professionally and personally, from my forecasting skills to my research to recreating with my summit team to fixing malfunctioning instruments and shoveling

December 12th, 2023|

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