After being closed for renovations and updates since January, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center reopened on March 5.
Attendance had been low due to the pandemic, so executive director Jeanne Gerulskis said they took the opportunity to update their exhibits and add some new things, including a majority of the exhibits from the Weather Discovery Center, which was closed last year.
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center’s mission includes Earth science, but its past weather exhibits focused more on space weather and the weather of distant moons and planets. In discussions Gerulskis and the Weather Center executive director Donna Dunn, a new partnership was born that would enhance efforts to bring the latest in weather and climate science to the people of New Hampshire and visitors to our state.
For three months, staff and volunteers at the two Granite State institutions worked diligently to dismantle, pack, ship, rebuild and install the Weather Discovery Center’s exhibits in New Hampshire’s own air and space museum.
Among the exhibits coming to Concord is a replica of the Mount Washington Summit Co.’s Stage Office, where the then-world record wind of 231 mph set was recorded on April 12, 1934. It features howling wind and earth-shaking timbers.
An automated instrument station in Australia recorded a new record of 253 miles per hour during Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996, and faster speeds have been measured aloft in hurricanes, but the Mount Washington measurement still stands as the highest wind speed ever measured on the surface by people.
The Discovery Center is open for seniors and high-risk individuals on Fridays, 9 to 10:30 a.m. and to the general public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10:a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. It will be closed April 4 in observance of Easter. During spring break, April 17 to May 2, it will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hours change in July.
Planetarium shows are held at 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on days the Discovery Center is open.