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The Mount Washington Observatory and UNH Announce Weather/Climate Research and Educational Initiatives. U.S. Senator Judd Gregg treks to the summit to announce federal funding
MT. WASHINGTON, N.H. -- U.S. Senator Judd Gregg will join officials from the Mount Washington Observatory, the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at a press conference on the summit of Mount Washington at 10:00 am today (July 7, 1999) to announce a package of scientific and educational initiatives. The programs to be announced and/or unveiled include:

$4 million in NOAA funding for AIRMAP, the Atmospheric Investigations, Regional Modeling, and Prediction Project. This statewide partnership linking UNH, Plymouth State College and the Observatory is a major new research effort to understand the causes of New England?s climate and weather, and to enhance forecast technology and accuracy.

The grand opening of the NOAA funded Weather Discovery Room in the Observatory?s newly renovated Mount Washington Museum. The Weather Discovery Room is the centerpiece of the first renovations since the Museum opened nearly 20 years ago, and features innovative and interactive, high-tech exhibits about weather and climate from the unique perspective of Mount Washington.

The unveiling of major upgrades in the Observatory?s observation and research infrastructure on the summit, made possible by the NOAA investment of $250,000 through the AIRMAP and Weather Discovery Center projects, and the successful $230,000 capital "Summit Campaign," completed in 1998.

Senator Judd Gregg, who chairs the senate panel that funds NOAA, stated, "The heatwave enveloping the Northeast this past weekend is just the most recent example of how weather affects our everyday lives. Here at Mount Washington, important scientific research is being done to improve our understanding of weather conditions. As a result, forecasters will be better equipped to understand and predict changing weather patterns.

"The Mount Washington Observatory also provides an important place to learn about weather. The Weather Discovery Room is a very worthwhile education outreach program that will help all of us better understand weather conditions. I am pleased to have been able to secure federal funds for some of the ongoing projects at the Mount Washington Observatory and look forward to our continuing efforts to expand the Observatory?s educational and scientific programs."

Speaking about the major upgrades in summit infrastructure and the unveiling of new programs and research, Observatory President Paul Fitzgerald said, "These activities are further steps as the Observatory moves forward on several fronts to meet the challenges of its commitments to scientific research and education. We are proud of our joint efforts with the University of New Hampshire and deeply grateful to Senator Gregg for his invaluable assistance is securing funding for these worthwhile projects."

The Mount Washington Observatory is a non-profit, membership-supported organization dedicated to first class scientific observation and research, and a growing agenda of educational programs, both on and off the mountain. The Observatory maintains an observation and Museum on the summit of Mount Washington, and the Weather Discover Center, open year round, in North Conway, NH. The Observatory?s nationally renowned radio program, The Weather Notebook is heard daily on over 250 public and commercial stations.

The Observatory welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year and is supported by over 4,300 research facility and the seasonal Mount Washington members. More information about Observatory programs and membership opportunities can be found on the Internet at www.mountwashington.org, or by calling 603-356-8345, or by writing to: Mount Washington Observatory, PO Box 2310, North Conway, NH 03860-2310.

By Linda Gray
Mount Washington Observatory