Mount Washington Observatory

NHSGC Affiliate

About the Observatory

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, membership-supported organization with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth's weather and climate. They maintain a mountaintop weather station, conduct research and educational programs and interpret the Mount Washington region's heritage.

Since its establishment in 1932, it has contributed to research efforts in short-wave radio propagation, ice physics, the constitution of clouds, and the composition of the atmosphere. Current projects include studying the effects of climate change on the alpine zone, instrument testing for both the public and private sector, consumer product testing and icing research.

The Observatory recently launched an educational program where students across the country can learn about the science of weather and climate, taught by educators on Mount Washington, live or with real-time videoconferencing technology.

The Observatory's Weather Discovery Center science museum, located in North Conway, NH, is open daily, 10am-5pm, and admission is free. The mountaintop Mount Washington Museum is open daily during summer months.

MWO's Weather Discovery Center building in North Conway, NH

Mount Washington Observatory's extensive weather station, covered in ice and snowWith bitter cold, freezing fog, heavy snow and legendary wind, Mount Washington is the "Home of the World's Worst Weather." Since 1932, the hardy staff of the Mount Washington Observatory has studied and documented the incredible conditions atop Mount Washington, utilizing this site for scientific research and education. With support from NHSGC, they offer an innovative education program, bringing the science of weather and climate to the public through its museums, website, outreach programs and distance learning.

The Weather Discovery Center

Visitors explore the Weather Discovery CenterFounded in 1999, the observatory's interactive museum, the Weather Discovery Center, is located on Main street in North Conway village, NH.

The Weather Discovery Center features hands-on, interactive exhibits that captivate. Visitors can reach out and touch a tornado, explore New England’s weather milestones and experience the power of the fastest wind ever experienced by man, Mount Washington’s 231-mph claim-to-fame.

Mount Washington Facts

Snowcat used by MWO staff during the winter months, shown atop a tall snow driftElevation: 6,288 feet
Latitude: 44° 16' N Longitude: 71° 18' W
Highest wind (04/12/1934): 231 MPH
Average yearly wind velocity: 35.3 MPH
Lowest temp. (01/1934): -47°F
Highest temp. (08/1975, 06/2003): 72°F
Average temp. for the year: 26.5°F
Max. snowfall in a season (1968-69): 566.4";
Max. snowfall in a year (1969) 495.2"
Winds exceed 75MPH approx. 104 days/yr
Summit in the clouds approx. 60% of time
Fog reported for over 300 days/yr

Photos courtesy of Mt. Washington Observatory.