A Brief History of the
Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory

1885   -   2013

A photographic history of the Observatory can be downloaded here (25 Mb PDF file).

The Blue Hill Observatory was conceived and constructed by Abbott Lawrence Rotch when he was 25 years of age. This fascinating man, born during the start of the Civil War in April 1861, was the seventh child of a prominent Boston family whose roots went back to Nantucket and New Bedford whaling and shipping interests in the 18th century. Joseph Rotch, Abbott's great-great-grandfather, owned the ship Dartmouth, which was involved in the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and his son William built the warehouse that became the Pacific Club, which still anchors Main Street in Nantucket. As a youth, Rotch traveled extensively with his family, especially with his maternal grandfather, Abbott Lawrence, who was the minister to Great Britain and one of the founders of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Rotch was enrolled in European schools in Paris, Berlin, and Florence where he learned to speak French and German fluently. This served him well in later years when he traveled and lectured, becoming internationally recognized in the new field of meteorology.

Rotch's first interest in the weather is not known, but he began to keep a small diary of the weather in 1878 at his Boston residence on Commonwealth Avenue. This diary revealed that he was a proficient observer. He graduated from MIT with a degree in engineering in 1884 with financial security, since he had inherited funds on his father's death in 1882. This allowed him to pursue his interests in the weather while providing for his family and other public service interests. Soon after graduation, he began to conceive of a private observatory to carry on his growing interest in the weather. After purchasing a plot of land at the top of Great Blue Hill, near the family's summer home in Milton, he began to plan construction with the help of his brother, Arthur, who was an architect with the firm Rotch and Tilden.

At the cost of $3500, Rotch constructed a small, stone tower Observatory with the living quarters in Canton and the tower in Milton, since the town line bisects the summit of the hill. At midnight on 31 January 1885 fireworks were set off, and Rotch commenced a weather observational program that has continued uninterrupted to the present day. Thus began the oldest, continuously operated weather Observatory in the United States - now both an International Benchmark Climate Station and a National Historic Landmark.

The first year of operation was fraught with endless difficulties ranging from leaks in the walls, freezing indoor temperatures, and frequent instrument failure due to the severe weather on the barren, windswept hilltop. All of these events, as well as detailed weather data from each day, were meticulously recorded in the hand of William P. Gerrish, Chief Observer for the first year. Rotch (in photo at left seated at his desk in the Observatory) soon became world-renowned in the field of meteorology as he met with European and American meteorologists and embarked on the systematic acquisition of meteorological books and data. His annual trips to Europe provided his new Observatory with the best complement of recording instruments in the Western Hemisphere.

Henry Helm Clayton, age 24, arrived in 1886 to replace Gerrish. Clayton was already interested in clouds and soon started recording their amount and type each hour. He was also interested in forecasting and modifying the Signal Service forecasts that Rotch had arranged to receive by telephone and transmit by means of "Weather Flags" from the top of the tower. A year later, Clayton brought Sterling P. Fergusson, age 19, to the hill. Fergusson was a mechanical genius and soon had the instrument problems under control. Under the guidance of Rotch, Clayton and Fergusson made an excellent team. By 1890, the first detailed cloud statistics in America were being accumulated. These observations provided the first basic climatology of cloud type, height and velocity in the Western Hemisphere.

In July 1894, William Eddy, a New York journalist, came to Blue Hill to show how his kites could lift instruments. On 4 August 1894, a series of five Malay kites make by Eddy lifted a special light-weight thermograph constructed by Fergusson to a height of 1,400 feet above the ground at Blue Hill. This marked the beginning of worldwide soundings of pressure, temperature, humidity and sometimes wind speed. Thereafter, the work advanced rapidly, reaching a peak of activity in 1896, when 86 soundings were made. A maximum height of 15,793 feet above sea level was reached in 1900. Some flights were made by alternately reeling in and out to sound vertically for periods of 24 or 36 hours, thus sampling upper air changes with time. Other flights were made near thunderstorms, and in rain and snowstorms. The work was extremely arduous, especially when breakaways occurred, which required a search for the kites and meteorograph and for retrieval of long lengths of brass piano wire used to fly the kites. One near disastrous flight saw a significant electric charge come down the kite wire and shock several kite attendants.

Rotch improved the Observatory structure three times. In 1889 the east wing was added to make a library and fireproof vault upstairs, with a shop and bedroom below. In 1902, the west wing and bedrooms were added. This housed the "new" library with an arched, Guastavino tiled ceiling upstairs and storage for kites downstairs. Also added to the room in the corners just below the ceiling were eight bas-reliefs representing the allegorical figures of the winds that were on the 1st century B.C. Tower of the Winds in Athens, Greece ("Zephyros" or zephyr, the west wind, is depicted at right). In 1908, the original two-story stone tower was torn down and replaced by the present three-story concrete tower, which was one of the earliest steel-reinforced concrete structures erected in this country. A stone wall and a gated, iron fence were added around the building in 1905.

Rotch died suddenly on 7 April 1912 after an undiagnosed, ruptured appendix. Letters of condolence poured in from Europe and America. According to his wishes, the Observatory was bequeathed to Harvard University with $50,000 to be set up in an endowment fund to operate the facility. Six years earlier, Rotch had been named the first Professor of Meteorology at Harvard.

On 1 October 1912, Alexander McAdie was appointed professor of meteorology and Director of the Observatory. He would serve as director for the next 18 years. McAdie was a kind, witty, and articulate man. His personal charm played an important role in raising $170,000 for endowment, an outstanding service to the Observatory. He had a penchant for writing, and while some of his work was purely philosophical, some brilliant reasoning in regard to cloud physics and supercooled water vapor appeared in his writings from time to time.

During the 1930's through 1950's, the Observatory became known around the world for its contributions to research and writing in the field of meteorology. This was the period of time when Dr. Charles Franklin Brooks was both Director of the Blue Hill Observatory and Secretary of the American Metrological Society. Brooks was also a co-founder of the AMS in 1919. Under his leadership, the Observatory was the headquarters of the AMS, and the library grew to an estimated 25,000 volumes. Scores of research projects and studies were conducted and numerous papers were published during this time.

One of the most significant developments occurred during 1935-1936 when balloons were used to carry weather instruments into the upper atmosphere. During this time the first successful radio-meteorograph flight was made, and this poineered the development of the radiosonde in the United States.

In 1932, Brooks supplied instrumentation and observer training for the new Mount Washington Observatory, which marked the start of a long-time close association with Blue Hill. Radio transmission experiments at ultrashort wavelengths followed, and soon regular communication by radio was established between the Observatories.

In 1954, the first of a series of contracts was signed with the U.S. Air Force for the study of clouds and precipitation, and a weather radar facility was installed on the summit of Great Blue Hill. When Brooks retired in September 1957, long-time weather observer John H. Conover served as acting director until Richard M. Goody became director in July 1958. A year later, the Blue Hill observational program was taken over, on a diminished scale, by the United States Weather Bureau.

Under the directorship of Goody, the work of the Observatory was to change to studies of the high atmosphere, so the intervening period was used to wind down all activities. The library was dismantled and transferred to Harvard, the Observatory was remodeled, and a new mechanic shop was set up. Pioneering work on the upper atmosphere and airglow was carried out with Dr. John Noxon.

Although research and numerous studies continued through the 1960's, the long-time affiliation with Harvard came to an end in 1971. At that point, the Observatory was turned over to the Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission, which maintained the state park on which the Observatory was located, and the site was scheduled to be discontinued as a National Weather Service observing station. Fortunately, through the efforts of several loyal supporters, the National Weather Service's decision was reversed, and the observations under contract from the NWS were continued.

In 1981, under the direction of Dr. William E. Minsinger, the Blue Hill Observatory Weather Club was formed, and since that time an uncompromising effort has been made to save the building and to restore it to its former glory. Interim repairs were made in 1985 for the Centennial Celebration, during which the Rotch memorial monument on the summit was etched with a summary of the weather records from the first one-hundred years. In 1989, the Obervatory was declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.

An extensive renovation of the facility was completed in 1999, and that spring the non-profit Blue Hill Observatory Science Center was established to expand the mission of the Observatory to focus on increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for atmospheric science. In 2002, the Observatory was recognized by the AMS with its Award for Outstanding Services to Meteorology by a Corporation for its historic climate record and its many contributions to weather research and education. Today, the Observatory, its staff and many volunteers remain committed to its mission of continuing its extensive climate record with traditional methods and instruments, and to preserve, maintain and grow into the future.

Portions of this history and chronology were compiled from: The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory:
The First 100 Years, 1885-1985
, by John H. Conover, published by the American Meteorological Society.

Date Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory Historical Chronology
1776 An act of the Massachusetts legislature declared that the summit be named Great Blue Hill. Beacons were established and the summit was used as a vantage point during the Revolutionary War.
1798, May 30 Construction began on a forty-foot stone and wood observing platform. It was blown down four years later, rebuilt, again repaired in 1822 and then remained for many years.
1830 A state trigonometric survey conducted by Simeon Borden precisely established the position of Great Blue Hill and the height above mean sea level as 193.69 m (635.05 feet).
1845, July The Corps of Engineers of the U.S Coast Survey opened a new road to the summit near the site of the current road.
1861 Founder of the Blue Hill Observatory, Abbott Lawrence Rotch, was born in Boston. Henry Helm Clayton, observer from 1886 to 1909, was born in Tennessee.
1884, May Rotch graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering.
1884, Aug 5 Rotch first documented the idea of building a weather observatory on Great Blue Hill.
1884, Sep 1 Construction began on the original observatory, which consisted of a two-story tower and living quarters.
1885, Feb 1 The Observatory was occupied and official daily observations began on the summit.
1886, Jan A Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder, the first of its kind in the United States was first used. It remained in service until it was stolen in June, 1993 and replaced with a modern reproduction. The original instrument was recovered, and it is now on display in the Observatory museum.
1888, Jan 1 The oldest mercury barometer still in daily use at the Observatory (number 872), which was purchased by Rotch in London and brought to Blue Hill in December 1887, was first put into service. It was later moved from the first floor to the second floor of the tower.
1889 The east wing addition to the Observatory, which was started on 18 October, 1888, was completed in early 1889. The upper floor of the addition served as the original library.
1891 Government weather agency was shifted from the Signal Service to the Weather Bureau under the Department of Agriculture.
1893 The Metropolitan District Commission acquired land around the Blue Hills for parkland that would become the Blue Hills Reservation.
1894, Aug 4 The first atmospheric sounding in the world was accomplished at Blue Hill with a kite carrying a thermograph to a height of 2030 feet above mean sea level.
1897, Mar 6 A kerosene-powered, steam-driven windlass was first used at Blue Hill for kite soundings.
1898, Feb 1 An unusually heavy snowstorm brought 20 inches of snow in about 24 hours, which was the largest snowstorm on record until 1958.
1900, Jul 19 The highest kite sounding in the world was made from Blue Hill to a height of 4,815 m (15,790 feet).
1901, Aug 22 First kite soundings over water with made with trial flights over Massachusetts Bay.
1901, Aug 28 First kite soundings over the open ocean were made to a height of 700 m (2,300 feet) from an eastbound trans-atlantic steamer by Rotch and Sweetland.
1902, Nov The west wing addition to the Observatory, which was started on 31 March, 1902, was completed.
1903, Jun 26 The new library was opened in the recently completed west wing. This room was finished with a tile vaulted ceiling of the style that originated with the Guastovino family in Spain. In the corners near the ceiling were placed eight bas-reliefs representing the allegorical figures of the winds that were on the first century B.C. Tower of the Winds in Athens.
1904 An instrument called an "ombroscope", which was designed to record the time of precipitation, was first put in regular service. The present ombroscope at Blue Hill dates from the 1940s.
1904, Sep 15 The first balloonsonde in the United States was arranged by Rotch and launched by Fergusson at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
1905, April 17 The Hazen instrument shelter was moved to its present location northeast of the Observatory and a fenced enclosure was set up around the shelter, rain gages and other outdoor instruments.
1905, May 16 Construction of a concrete wall and installation of a gated, iron fence around the Observatory was completed at the cost of $2000.
1906, Jan A pioneer in the development of meteorology, Norweigian scientist Vilhelm Bjerknes, visited the Observatory, where he witnessed a kite flight and discussed the vertical structure of the atmosphere with Rotch.
1906, Sep 1 Rotch was appointed Professor of Meteorology at Harvard.
1907, Oct 23 Clayton and Erbslock win balloon race with record flight from St. Louis to Asbury Park, New Jersey by covering 1,410 km (876 miles) in forty hours (an American record at the time). Clayton used wind measurements from a balloonsonde preceeding the race to guide the balloon to favorable westerly winds.
1908, Jun 4 Construction was completed of a new three-story concrete tower at a cost of $5000. Demolition of the original two-story tower had been started on 25 March.
1910 Rotch publishes his book Conquest of the Air, an up-to-date and historical summary of dirigible balloons, flying machines and the future of aerial navagiation. In December 1909, Rotch received a letter from Wilbur Wright commending the book.
1912, Apr 7 Abbott Lawrence Rotch dies suddenly from an undiagnosed ruptured appendix.
1913, Mar Harvard University takes over operation of the Observatory with an endowment of $50,000 from Rotch.
1913, Oct 1 Alexander George McAdie was appointed as Director of the Observatory.
1914, Jan 16 Wiring the Observatory for electricity was completed and electric lights were first placed in service.
1914, Jul 17 A stone monument to Rotch designed by Bela L. Pratt was erected on the summit of Great Blue Hill. The inscription reads: "In memory of Abbott Lawrence Rotch, founder of the Blue Hill Observatory, pioneer in the study of the upper air, a life devoted to science for the good of mankind."
1918, Oct 1 In recognition of his teaching, McAdie was appointed the first Abbott Lawrence Rotch Professor of Meteorology at Harvard.
1919 McAdie receives letters from the Navy and from Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, commending his work training officers in aerography and weather observing at Blue Hill during World War I.
1919 Charles Franklin Brooks was a co-founder and the first secretary of the American Meteorological Society in Boston.
1924, Jan A series of three storms each with strong winds near 80 mph seriously damaged the copper sheathing on the Observatory roof, which was not fully repaired until April.
1931 McAdie retired and Charles Franklin Brooks was appointed as the third director of the Observatory.
1932, Oct The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire was opened.
1933, Nov 7 Daily radio communications were established between Blue Hill and Mt. Washington.
1934, Feb 9 The coldest temperature ever measured at Blue Hill, -21 deg F, was observed.
1934, Feb The coldest month on record at the Observatory with an average temperature of 13.5 deg F was observed.
1934, Apr 12 The world record wind gust of 231 mph on Mt. Washington was timed by radio at Blue Hill.
1935, Feb 1 Observatory's 50th anniversary; Brooks proposed the development of the radio-meteorograph to transmit atmospheric measurements from sounding balloons to the surface.
1935, Apr 17 The first radio-meteorograph transmission of temperature data from an airplane was received at Blue Hill from a height of 17,000 feet.
1935, Nov Carl-Gustaf Rossby, then a Professor of Meteorology at MIT, visited Blue Hill to observe progress in the development of the radio-meteorograph.
1935, Dec 23 The first radio-meteorograph transmission of pressure and temperature data from a balloon was received at Blue Hill from a height of 52,500 feet.
1938, Sep 21 Great New England hurricane brought the highest wind gust ever experienced at Blue Hill. Numerous readings by several observers of the Draper wind recording established a top five-minute average wind speed of 121 mph from the south at 6:11 to 6:16 P.M. EST. From this a peak gust of 186 mph was calculated with an uncertainty of 30 to 40 mph. The highest hourly average wind speed was 84 mph from 5 to 6 P.M. Precipitation at Blue Hill during the storm was light and amounted to 0.12 inch.
1941, Dec 14 Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, eight U.S. Army personnel arrived at Blue Hill and manned the post 24 hours a day to spot and report airplanes and to collect upper air wind measurements. They left the Observatory for another location about one month later.
1943-44 Brooks and John H. Conover participated in a program for the Weather Bureau to instruct civilian and military weather observers throughout the United States on cloud observing and to make these reports more valuable to forecasters.
1946 A steel extension was added to the south side of the Observatory tower roof to serve as a platform for various solar radiation instruments.
1946, Oct 26 Henry Helm Clayton, who was associated with the Observatory from 1886-1909 and 1943-1946, died at age 85.
1948, Jan 25 Heavy snowfalls during the winter of 1947-48 accumulated to a peak average snow depth of 42 inches on the summit, which remains the deepest snow cover on record.
1948 The first Observatory government contract with the Weather Bureau provided funding to the Observatory for one year to perform research related to snowstorm forecasting.
1949, Aug 10 An unusually hot summer peaked with a high temperature of 101 deg F, the highest ever recorded at Blue Hill. This was later matched on Aug 2, 1975.
1951, Oct 6 Non-commercial radio station WGBH-FM first went on the air transmitting from a storage room under the library in the Observatory. The 95-foot high transmitting tower was erected on the rocks to the northwest of the tower. The call letters "WGBH" were named for Great Blue Hill.
1953, Jun 9 Debris from the Worcester tornado fell at Blue Hill. Oak twigs with frayed leaves were followed by papers, rags, shingles, roofing paper, insulation, boards up to 12 feet long, and pieces of walls or roofs a meter square (3x3 feet). This material had been carried 25-38 miles by the storm.
1954, Apr 21 The WGBH-FM transmitter facility was moved from the Observatory to a separate building on the summit to the southeast of the tower, which had been completed in January.
1954, Aug 31 Hurricane Carol brought a peak wind gust on Blue Hill of 125 mph from the southeast.
1954, Nov 16 U.S. Air Force Geophysical Research Directorate established a weather radar laboratory on the summit that remained until November, 1961.
1954, Dec 11 A new WGBH FM and TV transmission tower near the new building was completed. Total height of the new tower and antenna was 71.6 m (235 feet).
1955, May 2 WGBH TV first went on the air.
1955, Aug 19 Former Hurricane Diane passed New England as a tropical storm, but it brought record rainfall of 9.93 inches in 24 hours and 12.77 inches for the storm total over a period of 57 hours.
1957, Sep 1 Dr. Charles F. Brooks retired as director; John H. Conover was appointed acting director, and he continued in that position through June 1958.
1958, Jan 8 Dr. Charles F. Brooks died suddenly at his home at age 66.
1958, Jan 16 A snowstorm brought 22.2 inches of snow in 22 hours, which was the largest snowfall from a single storm on record through that date.
1958, Jul 1 Richard M. Goody of Harvard was appointed director of the Observatory.
1958, Oct The Observatory library was removed and distributed to various libraries and to the Weather Bureau, with a significant portion being moved to the Gordon McKay Library at Harvard where it remains.
1959, Jul 1 Weather Bureau took over operation of the climatological observations.
1959, Nov 16 Sterling Price Fergusson died at age 91.
1960, Sep 12 Hurricane Donna brought a peak wind gust of 140 mph from the south-southeast to Blue Hill, the second highest gust ever recorded at the Observatory. The fastest mile for the day, which is the speed of the passage of one mile of wind in the shortest time, was 92 mph also from the SSE.
1962 The first measurements of airglow, the emission of radiation from atomic oxygen during the day, were made at Blue Hill by Goody and John Noxon.
1962 A siderostat, which directed the solar beam by means of a motorized mirror to indoor instruments, was erected at the rear of the west wing of the Observatory. The structure, without its original mirrors, remains in its original location to this day.
1966 Successful spectroscopic measurements of the concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere were made by Noxon.
1968, Mar 13 One of the most significant ice storms to affect the Observatory left one-inch thick ice accumulation on all surfaces.
1968 Goody first documented interest in ending Harvard's association with the Observatory in part due to the interference from the WGBH transmitter with ongoing research.
1969, Feb The greatest monthly snowfall total on record, 65.4 inches, was measured. This included the snowfall record for a single storm, 38.7 inches, which fell over four days from the 24th to the 28th.
1970, Jan 2 The National Weather Service, formerly the Weather Bureau, appointed William Cusick as official-in-charge of the station.
1971, Oct 1 After considerable effort and discussion, the National Weather Service agreed to continue operation of the Observatory, and ownership of the facility was transferred from Harvard to the Metropolitan District Commission. Goody retired as director.
1975, Aug 2 The highest temperature ever recorded at the Observatory, 101 deg F, was measured, matching a temperature observed on Aug 10, 1949.
1976, Jan 1 Observatory was officially listed as a Reference Climatological Station by the World Meteorological Organization due to the length and homogeneity of its climate record.
1977, May 10 The heaviest late-season snowfall on record occurred with 7.8 inches being measured on the summit.
1978, Feb 7 The great "Blizzard of 1978" brought 30.1 inches of snow in 33 hours ending on the 7th. Snow depth on the ground was 33 inches on the morning of the 8th. The fastest mile during the storm was 67 mph from the northeast, with gusts from the NE on the evening of the 6th estimated to about 80 mph.
1978, May 1 William Cusick retired and Robert Skilling, who had served as relief observer since October 1960, was appointed as chief observer.
1980, Feb 26 Preservation of the historic Blue Hill weather archives and paper recordings was accomplished by their transfer to permanent residence at the U.S. National Archives facilty in Waltham.
1980, Sep 27 Observatory was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1981, Feb 13 The barometric pressure, reduced to sea level, reached 1052.4 mb (31.08 inches) a new record high pressure at the Observatory.
1981, Jun The Blue Hill Observatory Weather Club and Museum was established by Dr. William Minsinger to support the preservation and restoration of the facility and to hold meetings for local amateurs and professionals to discuss the weather.
1985, Feb 1 100th anniversary of the Observatory was celebrated by over a hundred guests with presentations on the history of the station, with the re-dedication of the Rotch Memorial monument, which had been inscribed with a summary of the weather from the past century, and with fireworks in the evening.
1985, Sep 27 Hurricane Gloria made landfall in western New England and brought a peak wind gust to 100 mph to the Observatory. The wind has not reached that magnitude again since that date.
1988 Blue Hill Weather Club President, William E. Minsinger, publishes The 1938 Hurricane: An Historical and Pictorial Summary on the 50th anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane.
1989, Dec The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory was recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. National Park Service.
1990 Former Blue Hill observer and Director, John H. Conover, publishes The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory: The First 100 Years, 1885-1985.
1996, Apr 10 The largest Blue Hill seasonal snowfall of 144.4 inches was set during the last storm of the 1995-96 season.
1997, Apr 1 Greatest 24-hour snowfall on Blue Hill of 30.0 inches, which began on March 31st, was measured.
1997, Sep Extensive renovations of the Observatory began.
1998 A new annual precipitation record of 71.00 inches was established.
1998, May Observatory first developed an Internet web site (www.bluehill.org).
1998, Oct 15 The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) operated by the National Weather Service to provide hourly automated weather observations was commissioned at Blue Hill as station ID KMQE.
1998 With support from private grants, the Observatory began the WINS (Women in Natural Science) Program, a series of educational programs designed to inspire adolescent females to pursue careers in math and science.
1998, Dec The Blue Hill Observatory Science Center was established to expand the Observatory's mission to include atmospheric science education. William E. Minsinger became President and Charles T. Orloff was named Executive Director of the non-profit organization.
1999, May 1 Completion of the extensive Observatory renovations was celebrated with a public Open House and Grand Re-Opening ceremonies.
2000, Oct 21 Blue Hill Science Center co-sponsored the First Southern New England Weather Conference, an annual meeting of professionals and amateurs designed to enhance communication among various local groups with an interest in the weather.
2002, Jan The American Meteorological Society recognized the Observatory with its Award for Outstanding Services to Meteorology by a Corporation. The inscription read, "for its distinguished history of meteorological research and committment to maintaining a high-quality climate record, and its dedication to increasing public understanding of atmospheric science."
2003 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) installed ozone measuring equipment on Blue Hill for local air quality monitoring.
2003, Dec 30 Former Blue Hill Director and observer, John H. Conover, whose association with the Observatory began in the 1930s, died at age 87.
2004, Oct Observatory began participating in CAMNET, a regional network of high-resolution "visibility" cameras viewable on the Internet, to raise public awareness about the effects of pollution on visibility.
2004, Oct 4 Blue Hill hosted the U.S. Postal Service's First Day of Issue ceremonies for the release of the "Cloudscapes" sheet of twenty stamps depicting various cloud types.
2006, Feb Blue Hill Observatory first announced plans for a new environmental Science Center facility to be located on the summit of Great Blue Hill.
2010, Feb 1 Observatory celebrated its 125th Anniversary with invited lectures by Dr. Louis Uccellini, Paul Kocin and others on January 30th, along with a reception and fireworks on the summit on the evening of the 30th. An Open House with additional festivities was held at the Observatory on January 31st and February 1st.
2010, Mar A new monthly precipitation record for any month of the year of 18.81 inches was established. This included the second highest single-storm rainfall total on record at the Observatory of 9.41 inches on March 13th-15th, 2010.
2010, Jul The warmest month on record at the Observatory with an average temperature of 75.1 deg F was observed.
2012 The record for the warmest year at the Observatory was established with 51.7 deg F.

(Last updated 10 January 2013)