Observatory staff plow their way to the summit for shift change on Wed., April 26. The snowline currently begins around 4,500 feet in elevation.
The month of May marks a turn toward the warm part of the year. Average daily temperatures already have risen, though as we leave April, conditions on the summit of Mount Washington continue to seesaw from bare exposed rock a week ago to a foot of new snow this past week.
The first week of May promises a bit more of the white stuff but we’re still working hard to get ready to welcome you when the Mount Washington State Park Summit Visitor Center officially opens on May 26 – with potential for an earlier opening depending on the weather (watch Observatory social media for updates).
Prepare for the variable conditions above tree line in the White Mountains before leaving your house by checking the Higher Summits Forecast or, if you plan to visit us, monitoring Current Summit Conditions. You can also text “weather” or “forecast” to 603-356-2137.
If you’re planning to visit Mount Washington, you can drive up the Auto Road on weekends starting May 13 (weather permitting). Check their website for updates including weekday opening plans. You can also ride in classic style on Cog Railway passenger trains starting today. Look out for both organizations’ special events all season long. The Appalachian Mountain Club has hikers covered, with resources available at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center / Joe Dodge Lodge.
Once you’re on the summit, no visit is complete without stopping by the Observatory’s Extreme Mount Washington® summit museum located in the visitor center, open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also visit the State Park concession stand and make use of the restrooms. Be sure to check the building’s hours of operation for the day you visit.
Become a member of Mount Washington Observatory to visit our museum for FREE, gain a variety of benefits (including admission to 300+ science museums), support our distinctive 90-year-old organization, and take a tour of our mountaintop weather station. Tours of our working weather station are only available to members and must be booked in advance.
As always, I hope to hear from you about the work we do each day. Please reach out to me with your thoughts and advice. I also hope to see you on Mount Washington and among the high peaks of the White Mountains. Have a wonderful start to your summer.
APRIL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
Fastest Wind Speed
This information is current as of April 29. Complete monthly weather data can be viewed here.
WEATHER STATION TOURS
Go Behind the Scenes at 6,288 Feet
Guided tours of Mount Washington Observatory’s summit weather station allow you to meet and interact with our scientists, learn how they create forecasts, see the instruments they use to capture Mount Washington’s legendary extremes, and more. Tours are only available to members and must be booked in advance. Learn more and schedule your tour!
Yes, April’s average temperature on the summit was 28 °F, but the transition to summer is on! Alpine flowers will soon bloom. Spring melt is filling ravines with the sound of new adventures.
What contour lines will you cross while climbing among the cairns? Whether it’s 4,000-footers or nature walks by the Swift and Saco, it’s all adventure!
Join us for Seek the Peak and add purpose to your summer hiking plan. Register today and punch your ticket to our Après Hike Party – with live music, food trucks, and fun all built in at the base of Mount Washington. Tell your friends, start raising funds for the Obs’ nonprofit mission in mountain meteorology, and celebrate with us on July 15. Earn an exclusive EMS T-shirt with local graphics designed in the MWV (raise just $200) and a Cotopaxi backpack plus ticket to the epic gear raffle (raise just $300). All registrations include a summit weather station tour on Seek the Peak weekend! Register today.
Seek the Peak combines hiking with fundraising
and old-fashioned summer fun.
Always check the forecast before hiking to higher elevations. For info on springtime mountain hazards, see this great article by the Mount Washington Avalanche Center.
Science in the Mountains:
The Keeling Curve
Join Ralph Keeling, Scripps CO2 Program Director, on Tues., May 23 at 7:00 p.m. to learn about the legacy of the Keeling Curve, a vital long-term data record of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Learn how CO2 measurements are taken and more about ongoing work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Reserve your spot.
Our Science in the Mountains® virtual lecture series continues to be free and open to anyone on Zoom or Facebook, thanks to our supporters, with all program recordings available on our website.
A Closer Look at Elevation-Based Temperature Swings
In our latest Observer Comment, Karl Philippoff writes about elevation-based temperature swings on Mount Washington, including insightful graphs. Understanding how temperature changes with elevation is valuable for a variety of applications, from Observatory forecasting to academic studies in the region. Read Karl’s blog post.
Interested in joining a team dedicated to research and education in the White Mountains? We’d love to hear from you! The Observatory is currently seeking applicants for several positions, including a School Programs Coordinator, AmeriCorps School Programs Educators, and an Administrative Assistant. Learn more.
The Observatory brought together several of our valued summit partners (and their families) for an overnight at our weather station on April 13-14. The spring snow wall created as the Mount Washington Auto Road clears the Cragway section (at about 5,000 ft. in elevation) was just one of the stunning Mount Washington scenes. The Auto Road, Mount Washington Cog Railway, Mount Washington State Park, and Observatory are all preparing for a busy summit season ahead. Pictured left to right are Ryan Presby (Cog Railway), Donabeth Murray, Camden Reichert and his friend Emily, Danielle Reichert, Tobey Reichert (Auto Road), Keith Garrett and Jon Powers (Observatory), Axel (cousin of the Observatory’s Jay Broccolo), and Drew Bush (Observatory).
Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please send any feedback via email. Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit research and educational institution. Our work in mountain meteorology and climate science relies on your financial support. Consider advancing our mission with a donation today.
Ellen Estabrook2023-11-08T07:34:12-05:00November 7th, 2023|Comments Off on A Glimpse at METAR Reports
A Glimpse at METAR Reports By Alexis George, Weather Observer & Meteorologist METAR observations are submitted every hour of every day at Mount Washington Observatory. METAR is a format for reporting weather information that gets
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Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth’s weather and climate. It serves this mission by maintaining a weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, performing weather and climate research, conducting innovative science education programs, and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region. Our weather station is located on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, at Mount Washington State Park.