Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit scientific and educational institution organized under the laws of the state of New Hampshire. Its mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate, by maintaining its mountaintop weather station, conducting research and educational programs and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region.
The first regular meteorological observations on Mount Washington were conducted by the U.S. Signal Service, a precursor of the Weather Bureau, from 1870 to 1892. The Mount Washington station was the first of its kind in the world, setting an example followed in many other countries.
Mount Washington Observatory reoccupied the summit in 1932 through the enthusiasm of a group of individuals who recognized the value of a scientific facility at that demanding location. In April of 1934, observers measured a wind gust of 231 mph, which remains the highest wind speed ever observed by man. In spite of the hardships imposed by their environment, observers regularly monitored weather under the auspices of the U.S. Weather Bureau, and conducted landmark research in short-wave radio propagation, ice physics and the constitution of clouds. The relationship with the U.S. Weather Service has always been close, but the Observatory is not a part of any government agency.