Science In The Mountains Returns!

2020-07-20 16:49:23.000 – Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Science and Education


On Tuesday, July 28th at 7pm, the Science in the Mountains lecture series returns to Mount Washington Observatory with some exciting new changes. For starters we’ll be delivering our Science in the Mountains programs virtually for the first time ever, allowing each lecture to reach an even-broader audience than before. On top of this, lectures will be offered throughout the year instead of six consecutive weeks in July & August.

The flexibility of virtual programs and year-round scheduling gives MWO staff the ability to invite speakers from far and wide to share information and spark conversations about weather and climate. Over the first four programs in July, August and September will cover MWO History, Lightning Safety, a round-table discussions about the legacy of Hurricane Irene and finally the intersections between weather and bird migration.

With just about a week away from our first program, there’s been a lot of work developing an engaging virtual lecture about the history of the Observatory to kick off the series. While many people know MWO because they’ve used our higher summits forecast to plan a safe hike or are familiar with the world-record-setting 231 MPH wind recorded in 1934, there is a trove of fascinating people, stories and facts about the practical and human side of running a mountain-top weather station.

By far one of the most enjoyable parts of developing programs about MWO’s history is the excuse to dive deep into the photographs, records and wealth of materials archived in the Gladys Brooks Memorial Library and in Dr. Peter Crane’s head, the library’s curator. As a walking encyclopedia himself, the organization (and myself included) to direct both simple and impossible questions his way about MWO’s history. I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about the history of MWO and the region; however, I am continually humbled by not knowing the answers to some fairly basic questions like “when did MWO begin contract services with the National Weather Service?” or “when did membership start and who was the first member?” or even more recently, “when did MWO start producing a higher summits forecast?”. And by far my favorite MWO history question is, “how many cats witnessed the big wind of 1934?”.


Whether you’re already a White Mountains history buff or casually interested in the operations and history of a unique organization like Mount Washington Observatory, I’d strongly recommend you register for our first program using this link and we look forward to seeing you virtually for this exciting new series!


Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Science and Education

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