Hohenpeißenberg meteorological observatory

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Hohenpeissenberg Observatory

The Hohenpeißenberg Meteorological Observatory is the oldest mountain weather station in the world. The observatory is 977 meters above sea ​​level on the Hohen Peißenberg , about 20 kilometers from the edge of the Alps and about 60 kilometers southwest of Munich in Bavaria . It is affiliated with the German Weather Service (DWD), conducts ozone research , aerosol and trace gas measurements and radar meteorology and carries out weather observations . Together with the environmental research station Schneefernerhaus on the Zugspitze , it is the only global station in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network in Germany . As part of this program of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN organization, 24 global stations worldwide collect air-chemical and meteorological data. This allows conclusions to be drawn about, for example, the changing chemical composition of the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect , the ozone hole and possibly resulting climate changes (keyword: global warming ). Hohenpeißenberg is the only remaining station in the Mannheim measurement network of the Societas Meteorologica Palatina , a meteorological society based in Mannheim , where meteorological observations have been carried out almost without interruption since January 1, 1781 until today .



The observatory is very important for weather and climate research due to its 230-year history . Countless important findings about the earth's atmosphere were obtained from the measurement series of the station . The measured values ​​have been evaluated in various ways over the last 200 years and used in publications by scientists from all over the world. At the beginning of the 1960s, the Hohenpeißenberg series of measurements was revised by several scientists when the WMO and UNESCO needed long series of measurements for questions about climate change . The Hohenpeißenberg series of measurements is one of the longest and most homogeneous series in Europe and is free from heat island effects , where the increase in buildings in the surrounding area causes warming, which is associated with other long series, such as those in Basel or Prague , for example .

After the closure of the Societas Meteorologica Palatina and the associated closure of the mountain weather station on the Gotthard Pass, the weather station was the only mountain weather station in the world for about 100 years. The meteorological parameters, in particular the temperature , at the Hohenpeißenberg site run parallel to global developments and other long series of measurements in Europe, such as those in Vienna and Basel. The location of the station has proven to be particularly advantageous because, in contrast to stations near the city, the measurement results are not influenced by local changes in the development. The location of the station is also advantageous because the almost 1000 meter high Inselberg in front of the Alps protrudes from the cold air close to the ground at night and is therefore free of small-scale effects.

In order to continue the long series of measurements from Hohenpeißenberg continuously, the climate observations of the meteorological devices are still read at the Mannheim hours , i.e. at 7 a.m., 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., although since April 1, 2001 all observations have been electronically measured electronically and recorded by computer in the DWD since April 1, 2001 . The mean values ​​are formed from these hourly measurement data . The Mannheim lessons have previously proven themselves for the observers and the calculations of the daily mean .


Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeißenberg (Bavaria)
Red pog.svg
Hohenpeissenberg Observatory

The Hohe Peißenberg is located in the middle of the moraine-rich landscape of the Pfaffenwinkel , between the communities of Weilheim in Upper Bavaria and Schongau , about 60 kilometers southwest of Munich and about 20 kilometers from the edge of the Alps, in the border area between folded and unfolded tertiary layers of the Alpine foothills. It offers a clear horizon of vision on all sides with an Alpine panorama about 200 kilometers wide from the Berchtesgaden to the Swiss Alps. The mountain is considered to be the farthest notable elevation advanced into the Swabian-Bavarian plateau. The Hohe Peißenberg is 989 meters high, towers above the surrounding region by 250 to 300 meters and is surrounded at its foot in the south, east and north by the community of Hohenpeißenberg .

The situation means that temperature reversals occur in winter when the weather is inversion . Cold air lakes form in the valley , which can be considerably colder than in the summit area of ​​the Hohen Peißenberg. Thus, the mean temperature on the Hoher Peißenberg in December and January is higher than in lower-lying stations. In summer, however, it is two to three degrees Celsius cooler on the Hohen Peißenberg than in the flatlands, depending on the altitude. The temperature conditions in the course of the year show the characteristics of the mountain climate despite the relatively low altitude of the mountain .

“This high, single mountain, completely separated from the Tyrolean mountains, is an original of the rarest of virtues in the realm of creation. Just as he shows the most exciting prestige on all sides because of his gently sublime and romantic position; in this way it opens up the most varied, most solemn view into an immeasurable area of ​​heaven and earth, and is therefore the most exquisite place for both astronomy and weather studies that one can wish for. "

- Aibin Schwaiger (1792)


Weather station around 1900
Monastery and observatory 2003

At the end of the 18th century, when observations began, the observatory belonged to the Rottenbuch monastery and was run by the Augustinian canons . In 1803, after the secularization of the Rottenbuch monastery , it was administered by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich, in 1838 it was subordinated to the Bogenhausen observatory near Munich, and in 1879 it was incorporated as the highest station in the newly established Bavarian State Weather Service. In 1940 it was moved to the newly built aeronautical research institute building on the western edge of the Hohen Peißenberg. On March 10, 1950, the weather station was converted into an observatory and formally counted as a research facility for the Meteorological Service of the American Zone of Occupation . Since 1952 it has belonged to the newly founded German Weather Service.

First measurements

As early as 1758 and 1759, the first meteorological observations were carried out on the Hohen Peißenberg by the Rottenbucher Konventualen Wittner, who passed the observation data from November 1758 to February 1759 to the first secretary of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , Johann Georg von Lori, which had recently been founded , sent.

Planning the observatory

The plans for an academic observatory for naturalists on the Hohen Peißenberg, which was very famous for the Mother of God pilgrimage, go back to the year 1772. The suggestion came from the Privy Councilor Johann Georg von Lori , confidante of Elector Max III. Joseph of Bavaria. He was responsible for all educational questions of the time and founder of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. Lori took the view that the Hohe Peißenberg with its exposed location in the foothills of the Alps would be ideal for astronomical observations. The elector accepted Lori's suggestion and ordered an observatory to be built on the Hohen Peißenberg by the Rottenbuch Abbey with the help of the Polling Abbey .

A platform was built on the roof of the priest's house connected to the pilgrimage church as an observation point. From there the whole celestial area could be seen. The initiator of the observatory, Georg von Lori, could not, however, free funds from the electoral court chamber in Munich, so that his dream of building an academic observatory on Hohenpeissenberg could not be fulfilled.

Station of the Societas Meteorologica Palatina

View from the rectory with the rectory garden in front, where the rain gauge was. In the background the teacher's house. - Photo taken before 1900

The learned court chaplain of Karl Theodor von der Pfalz , Johann Jakob Hemmer, who was an expert in the field of electricity and meteorology, attached its own Societas Meteorologica Palatina to the Mannheim Academy as a third class in 1779 and 1780 . This should process observations from different countries with the help of an extensive network of stations.

The Mannheim observation network comprised 39 stations located in Europe, Greenland and North America . 14 of them were in Germany, two were mountain stations, namely on the Gotthard Pass and the Hohen Peißenberg. These stations were all equipped with the same equipment and carried out a uniform observation program. The measurement times, known as Mannheim hours , were chosen, with measurements being carried out at 7 a.m., 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time.

At the suggestion of his cabinet secretary Stephan von Stengel, Elector Karl Theodor wanted a department for meteorology to be created at the Academy of Sciences in Munich. This department, together with its own observation stations within Bavaria, should be subordinate to the Mannheim Society so that the results could be coordinated and published. The astronomical observation site on the Hohen Peißenberg was to be incorporated directly into the Mannheim observation network. The Bavarian measuring network comprised 21 stations and was located exclusively in the area of ​​Bavarian monasteries.

The measuring program of the Hohenpeißenberg station comprised air temperature , air pressure , humidity , precipitation , evaporation , wind strength and direction , sky condition , weather phenomena such as fog or thunderstorm , magnetic declination and inclination , atmospheric electricity and phenological development . In addition, there was the observation of geomagnetism and air electricity. The equipment required for this, which was not part of the basic equipment of the Societas Palatina , was bought by the Rottenbuch monastery as the operator of the meteorological observatory. This observatory was particularly well equipped. In addition there were astronomical observations, about which nothing is known. The measured data were published in the Epheremerides Societatis Meteorologicae Palatinae ( Mannheim Ephemeris ), of which twelve volumes exist for the years 1781 to 1792.

In the autumn of 1780 the ecclesiastical councilor Hemmer personally came to Rottenbuch to set up the measuring station on the Hohenpeissenberg on behalf of Elector Karl Theodor. He also gave Cejatan Fischer the training necessary to operate the station. Uniform instruments that had previously been calibrated in Mannheim were set up. On the instructions of Provost Ambrosius Mösner, Hemmer installed the first lightning rods on the monastery building in Rottenbuch and on the Hohen Peißenberg, which subsequently proved to be very useful, as can be seen from a manuscript by Canon Primus Koch from 1781 and 1782:

“Only recently a heavy thunder cloud came over our monastery, the handicraftsmen and monastery servants often saw electrical matter driving around on the roofs, on the Hohenpeissenberg in the last 12 years (before 1781) lightning had struck the church or the hospice building seven times . "

- Canon Primus Koch

Cejatan Fischer moved to the Hohen Peißenberg on November 24, 1780 and began daily observations on January 1, 1781, based on the work program of the Mannheim Meteorological Society. The observation and measurement results were carefully registered and forwarded to the Societas Palatina in Mannheim. Fischer was called to Munich in 1781. As his successor, he suggested his most gifted student, Guarinus Schlögl, who had already shown his outstanding talent in the novitiate . Immediately after Fischer left, he became an independent observer and carried out daily observations and measurements. Schlögl was recalled to Rottenbuch Abbey in October 1782. Schlögl's successor was another confrere, Herkulan Schwaiger, who was able to familiarize himself with meteorological tasks as early as May 1782 on the Hohen Peißenberg in addition to the pilgrimage pastoral care. Schwaiger was considered the first proper observator of the Mannheim Meteorological Society and carried out this activity from October 1782 to October 1785.

Provost Ambrosius Mösner sent Guarinus Schlögl again to Hohenpeissenberg in autumn 1784, where he took an apartment. Until 1787 he was able to work as an observer on the Hohenpeissenberg, despite his progressive lung disease. During this period, in addition to the ongoing meteorological observations, he also provided an exact description of the station on the Hohenpeissenberg, which he had made for the ephemeris of the Societas Palatina that was published in Mannheim . Provost Mösner had already given him Albinius Schwaiger, a close relative of Herkulan Schwaiger, as support for the strenuous observation work in 1786 and 1787. After Schlögl's death in 1788 he took over the observatory service. In 1792 he was able to publish an attempt at a meteorological description of the high Peißenberg on the basis of the research results carefully registered since 1781 and his own studies .

“This single mountain, completely separated from the Tyrolean mountains, is an original of rare assets in the realm of creation. Just as on all sides, because of its gently lofty and romantic location, it shows the most charming respect; so it opens up the most varied, most solemn prospect in an immeasurable area of ​​heaven and earth, and is therefore the most exquisite place for both astronomy and weather studies [...] "

- Albin Schwaiger : attempt of a meteorological description of the high Peißenberg

In 1790, Jakob Hemmer, the secretary of the Mannheim Meteorological Society, died . Hemmer was the soul of the Societas Palatina and his departure plunged the company into a major crisis. The political turmoil of the French Revolution spread more and more, so that the whole system crumbled more and more. The Mannheim Meteorological Society finally dissolved completely in 1793. The conditions were not more favorable in Bavaria either. The network of stations organized by the Academy of Sciences in Munich never worked as well as that in Mannheim. The debt burden of the state treasury grew and internal tensions among the members of the Academy of Sciences loosened the connection to the stations outside.

Station under the direction of the Canons

Drawings and plans around 1902

After the dissolution of the Mannheim Society, the Rottenbuch canons had to decide either to continue alone or to give up the station. Cooperation for research purposes with the international observation stations, as practiced by the Mannheim Society, was out of the question. Provost Mösner and Albin Schwaiger finally made the decision to continue the meteorological observations, measurements and recordings on the Hohen Peißenberg on their own responsibility, although it was foreseeable that cooperation with the central stations would stall in the foreseeable future.

Albin Schwaiger was called to Oberammergau as parish vicar and had to give up his work as an observer on the Hohenpeißenberg on July 22, 1796. Canon Gelasius Karner, who had been sent to Hohen Peißenberg as early as 1794 to familiarize himself with the meteorological work as a property manager, took over the successor in 1796. As an observer, he carried out the meteorological observation series with the greatest conscientiousness and prepared reports and weather calendars ready for dispatch every year. The Munich Academy did not request this from Karner during his lifetime. The secularization in 1803 meant the end of the Rottenbuch monastery . On March 24, 1803, it was expropriated with the pilgrimage site Hohenpeißenberg and the entire observatory. The four canons who lived on the Hohen Peißenberg at that time became homeless.

The Canons Karner and Koch decided to continue the meteorological observations on their own without consulting the provost, although monastic funds were no longer available and they had to finance the necessary materials themselves. Koch became the first pastor on the Hohe Peißenberg and Karner carried out the observations as before. However, Karner's poor health caused him to move to Oberammergau in 1804 . Then Primus Koch , who also taught at the elementary school he founded in 1802, also took on the observation service. This happened without any compensation. The knowledge gained over the course of 20 years of hard work should not be forgotten.

Observations by pastors and teachers

Observation room around 1897

In the long run Koch could not manage the observatory service on time and financially alone and without the support of government agencies. In 1806 he tried to transfer the observatory to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , sent a fair copy of twelve years of meteorological observations and suggested his younger brother Franz Michael Koch as an assistant for the station service. After no further instructions came from the Academy of Sciences , Koch hired 39-year-old Johann Georg Schmautz, a man generally respected in the parish of Hohenpeissenberg, as a temporary school assistant and sacristan . At Koch's suggestion, the government recognized him as a teacher based on the examination he had taken in Munich. Thanks to his tireless energy and his penchant for natural science, Primus Koch was the last of the Rottenbuch observers to ensure that the Hohenpeißenberg station was preserved with the help of the Munich Academy of Sciences . Because of his obligations as a pastor and his progressing illness, however, he was no longer able to realize his scientific plans. However, he remained loyal to the service until his death on March 20, 1812.

After Koch's death, the Hohenpeißenberg parish was vacant for over a year and could only be cared for by vicars . However, the government was considering hiring its own full-time observer for the Hohenpeissenberg in addition to the parish pastor, as a letter dated March 15, 1813 shows. A clergyman was intended as an observer, since after the secularization there were a large number of scientifically educated religious who were suitable for such a position. The priest Gilbert Niedermayr was instructed to continue the meteorological observations according to the instructions of the Academy of Sciences until an observer was appointed . The position of a full-time observer was never filled, probably for reasons of economy, but remained in personal union with that of the pastor.

Niedermayr's successor was Josef Maria Wagner on August 3, 1817. On September 16, 1817, he was also awarded the parish Hohenpeissenberg by the highest rescript. From then on, the pastors of Hohenpeissenberg carried out the observatory service with the help of the elementary school teacher. On March 21, 1827, the observer from Hohenpeissenberg was given official status as a meteorological observer of the academy at the same time as the observers from Munich, Augsburg and Regensburg. This was an attempt to re-establish a meteorological station network by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , which, however, was unsuccessful because of the insufficient financial resources. At least the financing of the four weather stations, including Hohenpeißenberg, was permanently secured.

The instruments from the Rottenbuch period were given to the Hohenpeißenberg observatory, but the devices were in need of repair and some of them were unusable for practical use. Professor Siber from Munich tried to get the data from the meteorological measuring stations to be printed in the Bavarian Annals . As he informed the pastors on the Hohenpeissenberg in a letter, he was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, it is documented that the data from Hohenpeißenberg were later regularly published in the local weekly newspaper of the Royal Bavarian Regional Court in Schongau.

In 1837 the administration of the attributes of the Academy of Sciences was reorganized, whereby the political reorganization of Bavaria and the establishment of the district of Upper Bavaria were the trigger. In the course of this reorganization, the Hohenpeißenberg station was subordinated to the Bogenhausen observatory in Munich in 1838. This was particularly thanks to Johann von Lamont, who was head of the observatory from 1835 to 1879. Meteorological measurements have been carried out there again since 1825. Lamont showed a lively interest in the work on the Hohen Peißenberg, directed the work there and processed the observation results.

In 1878 a state observation network was set up in the Kingdom of Bavaria with the newly founded Meteorological Central Station in Munich, which took over the meteorological station on the Hohen Peißenberg. The state weather station was set up in July 1878 and the new observation instruments were installed in October. In December 1878, registration forms were introduced, so that by the beginning of 1879 there was already experience of operation and data flow.

From 1827, pastors carried out meteorological observations on the Hohen Peißenberg for over 100 years, with which the regulation made at the time had proven itself. Pastor Josef Kleidorfer was the last observing pastor on the Hohenpeißenberg from 1932 to 1936.

Independent meteorological observatory

Measuring field

The state weather station was incorporated into the newly established Reich weather service in 1934 . In the Hohenpeißenberg station, this initially brought no changes. The tasks were then significantly expanded in December 1936 and full-time weather observers were deployed in the weather station. The station itself was moved from the rectory, where it had been since 1781, and incorporated into two rented rooms of the Greitner inn. The station received new recording devices and a weather hut that was set up in the garden of the inn. At the same time, plans were made to build a new branch for aeronautical radio research in Graefelfing on the Hohen Peißenberg. The new building at the western end of the mountain summit was under the direction of the architect Moßner. In 1937 the building was occupied. The weather service moved into the second floor in March 1940, and the devices were transferred to the main measuring field located 200 meters west of the building.

During the Second World War , the observations were carried out continuously. At the end of the war there were brief interruptions in observation activities due to an air raid. The meteorological records were incomplete after April 28, 1945 and stopped completely from May 2, 1945. Measurements could already be carried out again on May 14, 1945, as the occupying forces were very interested in the meteorological observations for air traffic control reasons. Ms. Unfortunatelyer, who had been employed at the mountain station since 1943, was commissioned with the observations. She worked alone until the weather service took over the station in the US zone on April 1, 1946.


Helmut Weickmann, the head of the weather service for the US zone, became station manager on the Hoher Peißenberg in 1947. The construction of today's observatory, which he had helped to prepare, began during his time. Weickmann went to the USA at the end of June 1949 , initially for six months, then forever. After the legal ownership had been clarified, at the suggestion of the then President of the German Weather Service in the US zone, Professor Ludwig Weickmann , Helmut Weickmann's father, the construction of today's meteorological observatory began in March 1950. The mountain station was upgraded to a meteorological observatory on March 10, 1950, which Johannes Grunow took over. The staff included a meteorologist and five technicians. They carried out synchronous comparative measurements of the temperature values ​​in the old window hut on the monastery building and in the new climate hut on the measuring field. The aim here was to ensure the continuity of the temperature data. In addition, investigations were carried out on the impact of the slope influence on the point precipitation measurement.


On November 11, 1952, the German Weather Service (DWD) was founded by merging the weather services of the various Western Allied occupation zones. In the DWD, Hohenpeißenberg took the highest level as a second order station. On the morning of May 8, 1956, there was a small celebration to mark the 175th anniversary of the Hohenpeißenberg station.

As a contribution of the German Weather Service to the International Year of the Calm Sun , high-reaching balloon soundings, soundings of the vertical profile of the trace gas ozone in the free atmosphere and preparations for research in the field of radar surface precipitation measurements should be tackled on the Hohenpeissenberg. Graduate meteorologist Walter Attmannspacher, who also took over the management of the observatory in August 1967 as the successor to Grunow, was commissioned to do this in autumn 1964. On January 6, 1965, the first balloon probe was launched on the Hohenpeissenberg with the help of modern electronic aids. In the following two years, financial support from the German Research Foundation made it possible to prepare the technical preparation of radar surface precipitation measurements.

First of all, ozone soundings could be carried out every Wednesday, despite temporary financial, personnel and technical difficulties. From 1977, with the support of the Federal Minister for Science and Research, it was possible to make three balloon ascents per week. In 1968 the balloon sounding of the ozone content of the free atmosphere was supplemented by measurements of the ozone layer thickness (total or total ozone) with the help of a Dobson spectrophotometer and from 1970 the permanent registration of the ozone near the ground. In 1970 and 1978, in addition to numerous other works in the field of ozone research, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and the International Ozone Commission of the International Union for Geophysics and Geodesy, ozone probe comparisons were carried out at the observatory and statements about the measurement quality of these sensors were made. At the end of 1978 there was also an international comparison of measuring devices for continuous recording of ground-level ozone. In 1983 the total ozone measurements began with the Brewer spectrometer. In 1999, the ozone group was assigned the function of a WMO Regional Dobsonian Calibration Center for Europe (RDCC-E) and has since carried out so-called Dobsonian comparisons every year for the European part of the global total ozone measurement network. In addition, comparisons were made in Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. As part of the so-called capacity building, the South African weather service SAWS is being supported in setting up the RDCC for Africa there (participation in two campaigns in Egypt in 2004 and South Africa in 2010). The cooperation partner in these activities is the Solar and Ozone Observatory in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic .

In 1982 the weather station of the observatory could be supplied with current radar images thanks to advances in radar and computer technology. This means that thunderstorms can be recognized before they even occur in the Upper Bavarian lakes and the storm warning service in Munich and other weather stations can be supported with early warning. From 1981 lightning counters were installed on the Hohenpeißenberg , as lightning activity and thus real thunderstorms cannot be identified from the radar data. From 1985 the Thundar lightning detection system was tested; its data were later integrated into the radar image display.

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Hohenpeißenberg weather station in 1981, the meteorological data series were published in a special volume. The history of the observatory was worked up and the results of the newer research facility presented. The celebration took place on May 8, 1981 with around 370 participants, including the then General Secretary of the WMO, Wiin-Nielsen, in an international setting in the restored library hall of the Polling monastery. On May 9th there was an open house, on which 1200 visitors visited the observatory.

Tower of the observatory

Klaus Weg took over the management of the Hohenpeißenberg observatory in 1986. The detection of the Antarctic ozone hole and its formation by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) aroused great public interest in the development of the ozone layer in the northern hemisphere and its effect on UV radiation. At the end of 1987, after the ozone lidar had been fully installed, routine monitoring of the ozone layer up to heights of 50 kilometers could begin.

A second important field of work on the Hoher Peißenberg was the establishment of the DWD's radar network, which was largely designed by the observatory. The first composite images were created from several radars and made available to the other DWD departments, especially the weather advice centers, to better characterize the current precipitation situation. The radar data became particularly important after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Radar measurements of surface precipitation, which were used to estimate the leaching of radioactive material, were submitted to the British weather service. In 1991, Professor Wiesinger from the Bundeswehr University in Munich set up a measuring booth for lightning studies in the area of ​​the Hohenpeißenberg television tower, which was used to carry out measurements over several years.

Due to an increase in personnel in the radar group, the intermediate wing was expanded in 1991 and 1992. Five offices and a social room were created. With the renewal of the roof shingles on the main building one year later, the so-called stork's nest, an observation platform for weather observation, was expanded to a roof platform about twice the size in order to better position the existing radiation measuring devices. The observatory's computer network was also modernized.

In view of the Antarctic ozone hole and increasing global warming, the WMO launched the Global Atmosphere Watch air-chemical measurement program in 1989 and asked its members to take an active part in it. Peter Winkler, the previous head of the air pollution department at the Hamburg Observatory, became the new head of the Hohenpeissenberg Observatory in 1993. He continued the preparations initiated by Wegen for the establishment of a GAW global station.

The merging of the two meteorological services after German reunification made it necessary to reorganize the distribution of tasks for the observatories in Germany. Numerous coordination discussions took place to implement the German GAW contribution. Leadership was given to the DWD as a representative in the WMO. On July 22, 1994, President Mohr reported to the Secretary General of the WMO that Germany would set up a global station in the Hohenpeissenberg observatory. As a result, a significant increase in the workforce became necessary. For Germany as an industrial nation, air chemistry monitoring was an important long-term task. It was subsequently anchored in paragraph four of the new DWD law of January 1, 1999. With the reorganization of the observatory, however, the traditional ozone department lost its independence and was incorporated into the GAW Global Station.

In 1996, the first Doppler radar of the new generation of devices was put into operation at Hohen Peißenberg, which also meets the requirements of the radar network. The 7th floor of the tower had to be renewed because the tower floor was not designed for the weight of the new larger antenna. With this radar, new measurement techniques and the improvement of existing equipment became possible, which increases the reliability of the radar data. These include better ground echo filters while largely preserving the precipitation signal, more precise determination of a vertical wind profile, determination of the radial wind from the Doppler shift and derivation of the dual Doppler wind in the overlapping area of ​​two Doppler radar devices.

Since no suitable laboratories were available for the air chemistry work on the Hohen Peißenberg, a new building was built, which was inaugurated on May 4, 2001 after numerous delays. This inauguration was combined with an open house, which was used by 6,000 to 8,000 visitors. This proved the great interest of the population in the traditional observatory. In 2000, trees had to be felled in order to restore the necessary all-day tanning of the main measuring field and to remove the impairment of the sunshine duration measurement by the tall trees on the measuring horizon.

For the numerous visitors, an information pavilion was created from containers that had become vacant during the construction phase and was inaugurated on June 26, 2003.

Due to the very extensive measurement program of a GAW global station, tasks were divided between the two platforms Hohenpeißenberg and Schneefernerhaus on the Zugspitze . At the Hohen Peißenberg, the measurement of reactive gases, physical and chemical parameters of the aerosol and the chemical composition of the precipitation were added to the existing ozone measurement program. The Federal Environment Agency operates the Schneefernerhaus station as a supplementary station, in which, above all, long-lived greenhouse gases are measured.

The observatory existed on December 31, 2005 for 225 years. In September 2006 the official ceremony took place under the direction of Wolfgang Fricke, who had been appointed the new head of the observatory on January 19, 2006.

Weather and climate observer

Period Weather and climate observer
From To first observer second observer
January 1781 October 1781 Canon Cejatan Fischer
October 1781 October 1782 Canon Guarin Schlögl
May 1782 October 1785 Canon Herkulan Schwaiger
1784 1787 partly Canon Guarin Schlögl
October 1785 July 1796 Canon Albin Schwaiger
July 1796 October 1804 Canon Gelasius Karner
October 1804 March 1812 Pastor Primus Koch
1806 March 1812 Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz
March 1812 August 1817 Pastor Gilbert Niedermayer Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz
January 1, 1818 June 30, 1828 Pastor Josef Martin Wagner Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz
July 1, 1828 December 31, 1835 Pastor Mattias Kiener Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz
January 1, 1838 1843 Pastor Georg Köpf Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz
1843 September 30, 1854 Pastor Christoph Ott Teacher Johann Georg Schmautz, until 1848
1848 September 30, 1854 Teacher Kirchberger
October 1, 1854 September 30, 1864 Pastor Georg Mayr Teacher Kirchberger
October 1, 1864 December 31, 1885 Pastor Joseph Bangratz Teacher Hugo Fürst
January 1, 1886 May 31, 1886 Teacher Hugo Fürst
June 1, 1886 June 15, 1896 Pastor Joseph Bartmann Teacher Hugo Fürst
June 16, 1896 August 31, 1896 Teacher Hugo Fürst
September 1, 1896 October 31, 1896 Parish administrator Augustin Sedlmayr
November 1, 1896 December 31, 1896 Teacher Hugo Fürst
January 1, 1897 August 31, 1901 Pastor Felix Fischer Teacher Hugo Fürst, until May 31, 1899
June 1, 1899 August 31, 1901 Teacher Hugo Kropf
September 1, 1901 September 30, 1911 Pastor Konrad Pirngruber Teacher Hugo Kropf
July 16, 1906 September 14, 1906 Assistant teacher Engelbert Strehle
September 15, 1906 September 30, 1911 Teacher Hans Jung
October 1, 1911 May 14, 1912 Teacher Hans Jung
May 15, 1912 March 20, 1920 Pastor Josef Wallner Teacher Hans Jung, until the end of 1915
March 21, 1920 September 22, 1920 Pastor Wallner and Vicar Metzler
September 23, 1920 April 30, 1932 Pastor Ludwig Obholzer
May 1, 1932 November 30, 1936 Pastor Josef Kleidorfer
Period Station manager of the mountain weather station or
the meteorological observatory
From To
1947 1949 Helmut Weickmann
1950 1967 Johannes Grunow
1967 1986 Walter Attmannspacher
1986 1993 Klaus ways
1993 January 18, 2006 Peter Winkler
January 19, 2006 October 31, 2013 Wolfgang Fricke
17th April 2014 Christian Plass Dülmer


View of the pilgrimage church

From January 1, 1781 to November 30, 1936, the observation station was located on the highest point of the mountain in a room on the second floor of the monastery building, which is immediately east of the church. Since 1772 there has been an observation platform on the roof of the monastery building, which was originally built for the planned observatory. Rain and snow collecting vessels and a wind vane were attached to this platform. The thermometer hut was in front of the window of the unheated observation room . This was originally made of wood and was replaced by Lamont with a window shed made of sheet zinc, protected by wooden shade screens against direct sunlight in the morning and evening in the summer months. A quill hygrometer was housed in a second housing. To the south, on the opposite side of the building, there was a corridor from which a noon line, along which the declinatorium was aligned, led into the observation room.

The observation room was separated from the corridor to the south by a door. The noon line went through this door. Lamont had the device for measuring the magnetic intensity set up in this hallway. The room with the instruments, which was enlarged after a partition was removed, was separated by a simple slat crate to allow visitors to look into the observatory. The observation area remained almost unchanged for 155 years until 1936.

On December 1, 1936, the station was relocated to an inn about 100 meters away in an easterly direction. At the east end of this building was the observation room on the first floor. On April 10, 1940, the mountain weather station was relocated to the newly built observatory at the western end of the ridge, about 100 meters from the church. To the west of this building, which is surrounded on three sides by a tree-lined steep slope, is a workshop and laboratory wing, followed by a 30-meter-high tower immediately in front of the steep slope. The observation room was initially located on the second floor of the observatory and at the end of 1967 it moved to the newly built rooms above.

Instrumental equipment

At the beginning of the measurements at the Hohenpeißenberg station from 1781 to 1840 the following meteorological measuring devices were available: a mercury vessel barometer with a scale in Parisian lines and vernir on the barometer board and a reduction thermometer with Réaumur scale ; In the observation room, the barometer was on a marble slab embedded in the wall, on the floor there was a declinatorium and inclinatorium by Brander, Augsburg, for geomagnetic measurements. A downward-opening wooden box containing a thermometer with a wooden scale and a quill hygrometer hung from the ceiling, a Parisian foot from the center frame of the window. On the platform on the roof of the monastery building there was a square rain gauge with a pyramid-shaped funnel and a collecting surface of four Paris square feet, also a square snow knife 2.5 Paris feet deep and a collecting surface of one Paris square foot, an evaporation meter and a second, Thermometer hanging freely in the sun. Next to it was a wind vane, for which the wind direction indicator was attached in the observation room. The following instruments, built by Brander, were also part of the station's equipment: a glass nunius, an electrometer for measuring air electricity, a large level balance, the so-called portable observatory, a Newtonian mirror telescope, a solar quadrant and a seconds pendulum.

The quill hygrometer became unusable in 1811. In 1828 a new hair hygrometer could be used. The station received new thermometers and a psychrometer after August in 1841 and an additional barometer from the workshops of the Royal Observatory in Munich in 1842. In 1840 the temperature measurement was improved by a copper case with better ventilation. In 1849, the thermometer hut received wooden panels to shield it from brief solar radiation. An additional station barometer for the Royal Observatory in Munich was set up in mid-1850. This equipment was essentially retained until 1878.

With the takeover of the Hohenpeißenberg station by the Royal Bavarian Meteorological Central Station in Munich, it was equipped with new devices. The old thermometer hut was replaced by a thermometer housing made of sheet zinc with a rectangular cross-section, which contained a psychrometer and an extreme thermometer. A cylindrical normal thermometer housing made of white lacquered zinc sheet with a double conical roof was added in 1888. The station received an additional barograph in 1892 and a new rain gauge according to Bezold with a collecting area of ​​500 square centimeters in 1878. This was built in the southeast corner of the garden to the east of the rectory, about 26 meters from the building.

Measuring device

The Bezold rain gauge was exchanged in 1902 or 1903 for a Hellmann rain gauge with a 200 square centimeter collecting area. An older anemometer for direct reading was taken over in 1910, and a thermograph and a hygrograph were set up. In 1910, wind measurements began with the installation of a recording cup cross anemometer according to Fuess on the platform of the rectory. The station received a Fuess station barometer in 1936. In the garden between the inn and the monastery, a measuring field with an area of ​​four by four meters could be set up. On top of it was a thermometer hut with a psychrometer, extreme thermometer, hair hygrometer, thermograph, hygrograph, aspirator, mountain rain gauge and a minimum soil thermometer. A sunshine autograph was installed on the platform of the monastery in 1936 and a Fuess Universal wind recorder in 1938 .

Measuring device

With the relocation of the station to today's observatory building in 1940, the room instruments were moved to the observation room on the second floor. The measuring field with climate hut was also set up in 1940 on the premises of the observatory. The Fuess Universal wind recorder was placed on a mast on the roof of the station building. The sunshine recorder initially remained in its old location and was only moved to the platform of the observatory in 1946. 1948 there was a Robitzsch - Aktinograph and 1957 solarimeter after minor Gorczynski be put into operation.

With the resumption of research after 1950, numerous measuring devices and apparatus were added. At the end of 1964, the expansion of research tasks also required the construction of modern electronic devices, such as two electronic theodolites in the decimeter wave range and a primary radar in the X-band range. In 1971 an electronic data processing system and in 1974 a solid-state C-band radar were put into operation, as well as an accurate spectrophotometer and chemical and optical devices for measuring the ozone in the atmosphere.


The tower of the observatory is made of Pollingen tufa

In the series of observations on the Hohen Peißenberg, a distinction must be made between several periods of time that were characterized by a change of device or a change of location. When the Hohenpeißenberg station was taken over by the Royal Meteorological Central Station in Munich in October 1878, the entire set of instruments was replaced. This had a particular effect on the precipitation measurement. For this reason, various attempts were made to compensate for the differences that had arisen in the measurements. A report on the old rain gauge can be found in Observations 1879 :

“The rain gauge was previously on the platform described above, a little above and to the side of the roof of the extremely steep roof, 22 m above the ground. This circumstance, combined with the peculiar shape of the rain gauge - a flat funnel with a square cross-section - necessarily had to give insufficient results, and therefore the oldest observations on the amount of precipitation cannot be compared with the more recent. "

- From observations in 1879

1781 to 1878

The observation results from 1781 to 1878 were presented in various publications, diaries and compilations: Publications are Ephemerides Societatis Meteorologicae Palatinae , or Ephemerides for short, from the years 1781 to 1792, with annals of the Munich observatory, 1st supplement from 1792 to 1850 and annals of the Munich observatory, VII. Supplement from 1851 to 1864, each by Johann von Lamont. There are bound copies of diaries from 1800 to 1835. There are several compilations of the observations, such as extenso observations for each element separately, from 1792 to 1864 and from 1865 to 1874. There are monthly tables from the years 1840 to 1878. Evaluations of the individual measurement parameters are available from the years 1792 to 1960 and from 1790 to 1806 there are monthly averages for the measurement parameters. The Hollerith listing from the years 1781 to 1878 is available at the Central Office of the German Weather Service .

When looking through the existing data, it was found that device changes and changes in the evaluation method had variously strong effects on the measurement series. The observations were carried out from the beginning until after the secularization of the canons of the Augustinian choir monastery in Rottenbuch. From 1806, when the Royal Academy of Sciences took over the station, the resident teacher was the second observer, usually responsible for the morning observation, while the pastor took over the observations at noon and in the evening. The observations made by the pastors throughout were more consistent.

1879 to 2007

Most of the devices were replaced in October 1878. The thermometer hut, however, remained unchanged at its location. In 1888, comparative measurements were carried out with the new Bavarian standard thermometer hut made of white painted zinc sheet, which was attached to an arm on the window frame and was used for reading with a thread. The comparative measurements were continued for over a year until October 1889. The director of the Centralanstalt evaluated the data personally. The result was that the old hut could still be used. Comparative measurements were also made between the hair hygrometer and the psychrometer, and it was found that the hygrometer had manufacturing defects. The devices in question were then repaired in all stations.

Observatory office

From 1879, the series of observations has only a brief interruption at the end of the Second World War. There are no data for eleven days, from May 3 to May 13, 1945. The gaps could, however, be closed by interpolating the climate observations from Munich, Augsburg, Füssen and private weather records, taking the weather situation into account. Certain changes in the series of observations occurred when the station was taken over by the Reich Weather Service on December 1, 1936 and the station was looked after by full-time observers. Another change occurred on April 10, 1940, when the station was moved from the monastery building to the building of the new observatory.

Weickmann found that when the station was relocated in 1940, no comparative measurements were carried out to determine the differences between the two locations. Therefore, from 1948 onwards, Weickmann carried out comparative measurements between the old window shed and the new measuring field on the observatory grounds. To do this, he requested a remote thermometer. Since there were queries, he replied on March 21, 1949:

“We noticed that when the parsonage was moved to the current building, practically no comparative measurements were carried out at the two locations. In view of the 170-year-old Hohenpeißenberg range, such measurements appear to be urgently necessary. "

- Helmut Weickmann

The measurements, with the requested thermometer being placed in the old window shed, and the processing were carried out by Hommel. In some cases, attempts were also made to compensate for the differences found when the time series before and after 1940 were merged. today, however, the time series is coupled without homogenization. The relocation of the station in 1940 resulted in a significant change in air pressure, with an average increase in the values, which can be attributed to the changed station height.

Climate values

Temperature series

Johannes Grunow carried out studies on the series of measurements at the Hohenpeissenberg station and summarized them in a compilation for the period from 1761 to 1960. This compilation was then updated to the present day. The climatic values ​​for the Hohe Peißenberg go back to 1781, such as B. in the temperature means. Extreme values ​​of the temperature can only be determined since the introduction of the maximum and minimum thermometers in 1879.

The temperature means were determined by three daily readings. Representative precipitation measurements have been available since 1879 because the rain gauge was previously on the roof of the rectory, where the measurements were influenced by the effects of the wind. Further climate elements were added with the respective extensions to the equipment, such as measurements of the duration of sunshine from 1937 and the depth of snow from 1901.

Climate values ​​of the Hohenpeißenberg station
Area Period Jan. Feb March April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Temperature mean in ° C 1781-2008 −2.0 −1.2 1.3 5.3 10.0 13.0 15.0 14.6 11.6 7.1 2.1 −0.9 6.4
Warmest mean in ° C 1781-2008 6.1 5.1 6.2 12.1 15.3 19.3 19.8 20.7 16.3 12.8 7.4 4.5 8.3
1796 1990 1822
1800 1868 2003 2006 2003 1961 2001 1852 1806 1994
Coldest mean in ° C 1781-2008 −8.5 −12.4 −6.0 −0.5 5.2 8.8 11.3 11.2 5.3 0.8 −3.9 −10.5 4.4
1848 1956 1785 1817 1876 1923 1913 1833
1912 1905 1851 1788 1829
Absolute maximum temperature in ° C 1879-2008 17.2 19.7 21.6 25.5 28.3 31.8 33.8 33.1 29.6 26.3 21.5 18.5 33.8
2002 2008 2008 2003 1958 1980 1947 2003 1943 1981 1968 1985 1947
Absolute lowest temperature in ° C 1879-2008 −26.3 −29.1 −18.8 −11.0 −6.6 −1.1 −0.8 0.2 −3.5 −10.8 −14.9 −21.1 −29.1
1907 1929 1886 1905 1906 1962 1903 1903 1897 1920 1890 1879 1929
Precipitation average 1879-2008 57 51 61 82 121 154 159 140 110 73 63 58 1129
Largest total precipitation in mm 1879-2008 140.6 165.5 185.1 207.7 350.7 366.6 346.5 277.8 239.1 226.5 199.3 154.7 1581.9
1968 1970 1939 1965 1999 1979 1993 1970 1899 1981 1992 1918 1939
Smallest total precipitation in mm 1879-2008 1.8 8.8 10.3 2.8 16.6 43.5 29.3 35.4 21.7 2.7 5.7 5.5 776.2
1997 1882 1918 1893 1992 1887 2006 1947 1895 1943 1920 1888 1943
Largest daily total of precipitation in mm 1879-2008 42.4 54.5 61.3 58.1 138.5 116.8 94.5 91.2 65.4 49.8 79.4 47.0 138.5
1912 1990 2000 1892 1999 1979 1910 1970 1888 1973 1921 1918 1999
Average sunshine sum in hours 1937-2008 93 103 142 163 197 206 230 215 174 143 90 82 1840
Largest sunshine sum in hours 1937-2008 178 204 244 317 264 310 332 314 286 225 166 171 2215
1989 1959 1953 2007 1950 1976 2006 1947 1959 1971 1978 1972 2003
Smallest sunshine sum in hours 1937-2008 49 41 67 82 97 123 144 133 69 57 37 31 1547
1987 1970 1944 1989 1939 1956 1980 2006 2001 1992 1964 1947 1987
Biggest monthly snow depth in cm 1901-2008 78 100 115 73 22nd 10 0 0 17th 35 56 75 115
1959 1978 1988 1979 1979 1962 - - 2002 1956 1999 1962 1988
Average number of summer days - - - - - 0.4 1.3 3.3 2.6 0.4 - - - 8.1
Average number of frost days - 25.5 22.0 19.0 11.7 2.6 0.1 0 - 0.3 5.5 16.1 23.5 126.4
Average number of ice days - 12.5 10.4 5.7 1.0 - - - - - 0.7 5.8 11.2 47.4


  • Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781–2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. German Weather Service, Offenbach am Main 2006, ISBN 3-88148-415-9 .
  • Peter Winkler: Early history of the Hohenpeißenberg mountain observatory: new findings and clarifications , German Weather Service, Offenbach am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-88148-481-7
  • Peter Winkler: The observatory on the Hohenpeißenberg. In: Lech-Isar-Land 2008, page 83 ff
  • Deutscher Wetterdienst (Ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781–1980. Offenbach am Main 1981, ISBN 3-88148-184-2 .
  • German Weather Service (Ed.): 100 Years of the Weather Service in Bavaria 1878–1978. Offenbach am Main 1979, ISBN 3-88148-171-0 .
  • Albin Schwaiger : Attempt at a meteorological description of the high Peißenberg as a necessary addition to its prospectus map. With 1 folded copper plate. Publisher: Anton Franz Wittwe, Munich 1791, 43 pages

See also

Web links

Commons : Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeißenberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781–2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. Page 3. See also: Literature.
  2. Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781-2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. Page 109. See also: Literature.
  3. 100 years of weather service in Bavaria 1878–1978
  4. ^ Deutscher Wetterdienst (Ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781–1980. Page 3. See also: Literature.
  5. Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781-2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. Page 12. See also: Literature.
  6. a b German Weather Service (ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781-1980. Page 9. See also: Literature.
  7. ^ Deutscher Wetterdienst (Ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781–1980. Page 12. See also: Literature.
  8. ^ Deutscher Wetterdienst (Ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781–1980. Pages 12–13. See also: literature. Data graphic from 1781 see also DWD ( Memento of the original from 23 September 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 58 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.dwd.de
  9. Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781-2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. Page 55. See also: Literature.
  10. ^ Deutscher Wetterdienst (Ed.): 200 years of meteorological observations on the Hohenpeißenberg 1781–1980. Pages A-9 – A12. See also: literature.
  11. Climate data from selected German stations
  12. Peter Winkler: Hohenpeißenberg 1781-2006 - the oldest mountain observatory in the world. Page 113. See also: Literature.

Coordinates: 47 ° 48 ′ 5 ″  N , 11 ° 0 ′ 35 ″  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 11, 2007 in this version .