Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory
Climate Data and Research

NOTE: More complete access to the Blue Hill climate record is available to members of the Observatory, or to non-members for a fee. You can help support our observation program and our research by joining today!

Rotch Memorial Monument

This monument at Blue Hill was erected in 1912 in memory of the Observatory's founder, Abbott Lawrence Rotch. At the centennial of the Observatory, the stone was etched with a summary of the first century of climate data. Among the extremes that have been established since 1985 are the greatest annual precipitation of 71.00 inches recorded in 1998, the greatest seasonal snowfall of 144.4 inches measured in the winter of 1995-1996, and the greatest 24-hour snowfall of 29.0 inches recorded on 31 March to 1 April, 1997. An inscription on the back of the monument reads: "In memory of Abbot Lawrence Rotch, founder and director of the Blue Hill Observatory, pioneer in the study of the upper air, a life devoted to science for the good of mankind". Click on the image for a larger view.

Graphs of Annual Blue Hill Observatory Climate Data

Weather observations on Blue Hill began on February 1, 1885, but the annual mean temperature plot below includes data for 1831 to 1884 from nearby locations that have been carefully adjusted to the Great Blue Hill summit, to extend the Observatory mean temperature record back to 1831.

   Annual Mean Temperature (since 1831)

   Annual Precipitation (since 1886)

   Seasonal Snowfall (since 1885-1886)

   Annual Mean Wind Speed (since 1885)

   Annual Mean Bright Sunshine (since 1886)

   Houghton's Pond Freeze/Thaw Dates (since 1886)

   Date of First Ripe Blueberries (since 1886)

Graphs of Monthly Blue Hill Observatory Climate Data

Note that departures from the mean depicted in these plots are differences from the 1891-2000 110-year long-term average, which is much less variable than recent 30-year "normals".


Blue Hill Observatory Climate Research Reports

The reports below are informal articles describing climate research on various topics based on the Blue Hill climate record. Each report can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on its title.

"Investigation of the January Thaw in the Blue Hill Temperature Record"
(January, 2010)

"Does Autumn Weather Correlate to Winter Conditions at the Blue Hill Observatory?"
(December, 2009)

"Climatology of Tropical Cyclones in New England and Their Impact at the
Blue Hill Observatory, 1851-2009"

(November, 2009)

Supplement: List of Tropical Cyclones in New England and Their Impact at the
Blue Hill Observatory

(August, 2011)

"Why is the Wind Speed Decreasing?"
(September, 2009)

(Last updated 13 February 2013)

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