Whiteface Mountain Observatory

Latitude: 44.4° N
Longitude: 73.9° W
Contact: Paul Casson
Phone #: 1-518-946-2143

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center has operated the Whiteface Mountain field station since 1961. This station is a rural mountain top site located in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York State at an elevation of ~1500m (~ 90m above tree-line). The mountain is a tourist attraction and open to the public from approximately April through October.

The main facility is located at 600m msl on a shoulder of Whiteface Mountain properly known as Marble Mountain and includes extensive laboratory and instrument space, offices, and a lecture hall. At the summit (1500 m) ASRC maintains a three-story observatory. The summit building which sits atop Whiteface Mountain is reached via a 426 ft long access tunnel dug approximately into the center of the mountain and met by an elevator which is 276 ft in height. The tunnel entrance is from the summit parking lot, an area accessible by a paved controlled access highway.

Although Whiteface Mountain is not high by western U.S. standards, the summit is located above the timberline and experiences most of the unusual and interesting weather phenomena which occur at much higher elevations.

The observatory at Whiteface Mountain is home to a large array of instruments. Many of these measure chemical species both in the gas phase and dissolved in cloud, fog and rain water. The continuous surface ozone measurements provide one of the longest continuous records of ozone. Many researchers use this data to examine changes in that critical species as it relates to Air Quality studies. Other gas phase measurements include carbon monoxide and various nitrogen oxides. Further, hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyde as well as hydrocarbons are monitored. Whiteface Mountain is also a measurement site in the PMTACS-NY program in order to collect data about PM mass and composition.