National Weather Service (NWS) COOP Observation Station
"NCON3 was constructed during September and early October 2015 and became operational on October 7, 2015 with our first morning observation reported to NWS in Grey, Maine.
The NCON 3 COOP Station is outfitted with several weather instruments (graphic below) including: National Weather Service Precipitation Gage, NWS Snow Stake, NWS Temperature Sensor and NWS Snow Board. RainWise, Inc. of Trenton Maine donated their top of the line automatic weather station, an MK Ill LR which automatically downloads temperature, precipitation, wind, barometric pressure and relative humidity data every two minutes to their web site www.rainwise.net/weather/wdc where it is available for public viewing. In addition, we installed a CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow System) rain gage for use by nearby John Fuller Elementary School as part of their STEM education programs. We anticipate that other Mount Washington Valley Schools will use the system in the future too.
In addition to the traditional NWS precipitation gage, snow stake, snow board and temperature sensor, NCON3 has the first solar powered NWS temperature console. In fact, the entire site including the RainWise MK Ill station is operated on solar power!
In the spring an RM Young anemometer will be installed on top of the 35 foot high Rohn tower installed this fall. This will provide additional wind speed measurements at the NWS standard height of 10 meters (the RainWise MK Ill anemometer is 3 meters high). A data logger and radio will connect this anemometer with a console and computer server where the rest of the mesonet data is stored. We also will install a webcam which will display current weather conditions in North Conway Village to MWO members and public viewers. Finally, the project will be completed by landscaping and planted with grass and shrubs."
Mesonet Upgrades and Improvements
Part of the Woodard & Curran grant was used to install and upgrade some of the 19 MWO mesonet stations located throughout the White Mountains. These stations are relied upon by a wide variety of users including:
National Weather Service who uses Mount Washington Auto Road (ARVP) stations to observe various weather parameters at 1000 foot vertical intervals from 1600 feet elevation at the base of Mount Washington to 6288 feet at the summit.
US Forest Service, who uses the stations to forecast and predict avalanches in Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines.
Ski Areas, who use the stations to determine the use and timing of their snowmaking system.
Private forecasters, who prepare custom forecasts for clients throughout the White Mountains.
University researchers, who study MWO's 80 plus year record for climate studies.
Backcountry hikers, climbers and skiers who want to know the current conditions and forecast for the area in the White Mountains where they will be recreating.
The new equipment purchased and installed includes 19 temperature and relative humidity sensor probes which must be calibrated and replaced on a regular basis and 19 RM Young plate shield adapter. The project was completed in the fall of 2015."
- Ed Bergeron
VP Special Projects, Mt. Washington Observatory
Over the last five years, nearly 100,000 grant dollars have funded 14 environmental organizations, making a difference both in our local and global communities, people, and world around us.
We move into this year with an updated look, a new website, and a continued effort to make an impact with environmental issues.