logoMarys Peak Realtime Observatory

The Marys Peak Observatory webcam was set up to provide a visualization of the beauty of natural fluid flows. Clouds trace these flows, providing an educational glimpse into fluid motions in our atmosphere. Time-lapse movies depicting different types of flows can be linked to this website. Ongoing research in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences examines the physics of flows like these in both the atmosphere and the ocean.

Current Image

MarysPeakObservatory camera

On August 4th, 2014, a new camera was installed on Burt Hall that has near-infrared sensitivity. This allows some cloud formations to be seen pre-dawn and post-dusk. Because of this, the current image is now updated every 20 seconds between 00:00 and 23:59 PST. Note that after the installation of the new camera, it was set into Pacific Standard Time (PST) and will remain in that time throughout the year, paying no attention to daylight savings. Data is archived at 20-s intervals and movies at 20-sec resolution are generated every two hours. The latest version of today's movie can be found here.

Marys Peak Meteorology:

Marys Peak summits at 1250 meters and is the highest peak in Oregon's Coast Range. Marys Peak is often above the boundary layer of the surrounding terrain, although summer daytime boundary layers may reach heights of 2 km, in which case Marys Peak may generate a local boundary layer. When summer marine air penetrates from the Pacific Ocean 60 km to the west, it is usually confined to the lowest 500 m or less, such that Marys Peak is well above the marine air. Exceptions include marine air penetration with synoptic support (weak summer cold front). In these cases, marine stratus can be seen "flowing" over the top of the peak.

Our Mission

This webcam was funded by the National Science Foundation, with the original camera being installed by the Ocean Mixing Group on the roof of Burt Hall at Oregon State University on April 28th, 2010. The webcam is a part of experimental investigations into the physics of form drag in geophysical flows. The Biomicrometrology Group maintains the site as part of ongoing studies to understand and quantify interactions between the air, vegetation, and the land surface. The images obtained here are intended to complement studies of controlled flows over topographic obstacles in ocean and atmosphere. On August 4th, 2014, the Biomicrometeorology group at Oregon State University installed a new camera with near-infrared sensitivity to increase the window of viewability. You can find a picture of the new camera below.

MarysPeakObservatory camera2

A collaborative, NSF-funded project by
C. Thomas, S. deSzoeke, L. Mahrt & E. Skyllingstad / OSU Atmospheric Sciences
J. Moum & J. Nash / OSU Ocean Mixing Group