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A Day In The Life at the Mount Washington Observatory

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This year, Oboz Footwear partnered with Mount Washington Observatory to get our footwear on the feet of people working in the toughest conditions in the lower 48. The Observatory is at the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern U.S., elevation 6,288 feet. Mount Washington is in New Hampshire in the White Mountain National Forest and boasts some of the planet’s most severe weather, including the world record for wind speed: 231 MPH.

We asked the staff at the observatory to give us a glimpse into their life this time of the year.

[Cover image: Weather Observer and Research Specialist Taylor Regan steps out for a weather observation. A sling psychrometer is used to determine temperature and humidity levels.]snowcat

The Snow Cat (winter transportation) arrives on summit carrying upgoing summit staff and volunteers. Staff work an 8-day on, 6-day off schedule in two rotating crews.
Weather Observer and Education Specialist Tom Padham assists the Snow Cat in backing up to the building. The Cat is brought as close as possible to the building, to limit exposure of crew and gear while unloading.
A “fire-line” is used to efficiently unload and load gear into the Cat. Everyone helps, from summit staff, to volunteers, to interns!weathermeeting
Each Wednesday, the shift change meeting begins with a weather briefing, highlighting expected conditions in the week ahead. Here, intern Chloe is discussing a storm with the potential to impact the next week’s shift change schedule.
A gust to 124 mph! Winds rapidly increased with a frontal passage, jumping from 45 mph to 124 mph in just 7 minutes!manonphoneWeather Observer and Education Specialist Tom Padham updates valley staff on expected conditions ahead of an educational day trip program. In the winter, the Observatory hosts several educational excursions, both day trips and overnights, which allow guests to travel to the summit and learn about our unique environment and history!woman at workWeather Observer and Research Specialist Taylor Regan gears up to step outside to collect the precipitation can. Swapped out every six hours, the can contents are measured to determine how much snow/sleet/rain, etc. has fallen on the summit!insidesnowcatThe inside of the Snow Cat as staff get ready to head off the summit after an 8-day shift. The Snow Cat has a top speed around 8 mph, but rarely operates at that as there is often plenty of snow to move and fog and winds to limit visibility.

To learn more about the Mount Washington Observatory and their programs visit

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