Marty Engstrom, who broadcast the weather from atop Mount Washington for WMTW channel 8 for 38 years, died this week at age 86. WMTW photo

FRYEBURG — His was a smile that will forever be associated with extreme weather at the tippy top of Mount Washington.

Marty Engstrom, known for decades as “Marty on the Mountain,” died this week at the age of 86. According to his family, he died at his home in Fryeburg.

For four decades, Engstrom, an engineer, would read weather reports from atop the mountain for viewers of WMTW, Channel 8.

It wasn’t so much the weather reports themselves that longtime viewers remember. It was the way he read them.

He wore a clip-on bow tie and when he read his reports, it was in a thick Maine accent. Engstrom would relate the weather conditions and then end the broadcast with a distinct and affable smile. It was the smile that would endear Engstrom to the masses.

In later interviews, Engstrom admitted that the smile was forced and intentionally exaggerated: When he took the engineering job at the top of the mountain in 1964, he didn’t realize he’d be responsible for reading the news. When his bosses instructed him to appear friendly during his weather reporters, Engstrom responded by saving that now iconic smile for last. He made it count.


Word about Engstrom’s death began getting around in meteorological circles on Thursday. Everybody over the age of 40 seemed to have fond memories of “Marty on the Mountain,” those in meteorological circles in particular.

“Marty was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet,” Charlie Lopresti, chief meteorologist at WGME, wrote on Facebook. “His infectious smile at the end of every weather report from the summit of Mount Washington was always a mood booster for me.”

Lopresti, who lived and worked at the Mount Washington Observatory in the early 2000s, also recalled spending holidays with Engstrom.

“One Christmas memory that sticks with me,” he wrote, “is Marty’s grinning reaction when he learned the crew successfully carried a cooked ham and apple pie across the summit in 120 mph winds. I learned a lot about HAM radio, the mountain, transmitting technology, and laughed at some corny jokes with Marty. Marty Engstrom will be missed.”

One former viewer of Engstrom’s broadcasts recalled that a cat would occasionally jump onto Engstrom’s lap right in the middle of his report. Many said they tuned into WMTW’s weather reports specifically to see the charismatic Engstrom do his thing — they didn’t care what the weather was like, it was “Marty on the Mountain” the character they came to see.

“I always looked forward to his smile at the end of each broadcast,” one woman wrote, echoing the sentiments of hundreds who took to social media to share their Marty memories.


Before going to work for WMTW, Engstrom, who grew up in Fryeburg, was a weapons control technician with the U.S. Air Force. When he went to work for the TV station, he would spend a week straight on the mountain and then drive back down to spend time at home.

Engstrom retired from WMTW in 2002. He was inducted into the Maine Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2019. He would also go on to write a book, titled “Marty on the Mountain: 38 Years on Mount Washington,” about his experiences.

By Friday night, the matter of Marty Engstrom was still being discussed vigorously on social media. For many, Engstrom was part of fond childhood memories.

“Watching you give the weather from the mountain was a family ritual in my family growing up,” wrote Jill Ohlson of Madison, New Hampshire. “Everything stopped to watch you give the weather with that one-of-a-kind accent and smile. … One of the best memories from my childhood. That mountain will always have your spirit.”

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