Mt Washington Observatory

White Mountains

Perched atop New England's highest summit, this observatory is staffed year-round by scientists who measure the mountaintop's extreme weather conditions; the world's second-highest wind speed (231mph) was famously recorded here in 1934. Tours of the observatory, allowing visitors to meet and observe the scientists who work here, can be arranged with advance reservation and purchase of an observatory membership. It also runs a program of exclusive summit adventures, including summer and winter day trips and overnight stays at the observatory.

Overnight educational stays with the observatory – even in winter – are quite popular, so plan ahead if you're itching to be a student of extreme weather. There are two separate groups of scientists who live on-site and record the weather, and they rotate on and off the mountain every seven days. Check out the observatory's Facebook feed ( for fun and informative updates about the wild weather on the summit. These folks are passionate about clouds – and it's fascinating!