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The joint Harvard-U. S. Weather Bureau weather station at the summit of Mt. Washington, N. H., which since 1932 has supplied important observations used in forecasting for the Boston area, will be enabled to continue this winter as a result of recent financial support from the state of New Hampshire totaling about $3,250.
Beginning next summer the Mt. Washington observatory will have a new building on the summit. This structure, two stories high, has been designed by the engineering staff of the Boston and Maine railroad to withstand wind velocities of over 200 miles an hour, and will be anchored by bolts sunk four feet into the rock. Construction is already in progress, under the direction of Col. Henry N. Teague.
Located on the highest peak in New England, this station has for four years served as a valuable weather sentry for New England, warning of the approach of air masses over this area, and thus aiding in the improvement of local forecasting.
In addition, through pioneer investigations launched by the scientists who brave the climate of the mountain summit year-around, the station, is rapidly becoming one of the country's most important centers of meteorological research.
Due to the extreme conditions of the mountain top, which low temperatures and high winds combine to make the coldest inhabited spot in the United States, it has been necessary for the observers to invent extremely rugged and specially adapted instruments for their work. Among the most famous of these is a heated anemometer, designed particularly for this station, which once registered a wind velocity of 231 miles per hour, far in excess of any previous measurements.
Of first importance is the attempt at the Mt. Washington observatory to translate mountain observations into data for ordinary "free" upper air at the same height above flat ground. The weather forecaster needs a continuous record, day and night, in all kinds of weather, of conditions in the upper air. At present the only method of obtaining these data is by expensive airplane fights or balloon ascents at intervals of hours or days; these do not give a continuous record and are not practicable in bad weather when records are most needed. They are well on their way towards ironing out the peculiar effects a mountain has on the atmosphere over it and towards producing the valuable steady "free" air readings of temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind velocity at high altitudes.
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