The Observatory under the National Meteorological Office

The Observatory came under the control of the national Meteorological Office in May 1943.
The workforce peaked in 1947 with a station chief, four meteorologists, a cook, a cleaning woman and a part-time secretary, everybody living in with their partners and children. The observatory was overcrowded, so a modest building was built in Le Vigan to house the families.
Over the years, conditions improved, even if the Observatory was regularly cut off in winter ; the snow-plough only started coming up regularly in 1955. With improved radio balloons and new means of measurement (satellites and radars), the Meteorological Office administration starting losing interest in high altitude stations. Mont Ventoux shut down in 1968. The future of the observatory seemed grim, and it need all Christian Proust's determination, working alone for 18 months from 1972 to early 1974 and sparing no effort to convince the local authorities that the Aigoual Observatory should survive. But his efforts were not in vain, for in 1974 the meteorologist Pierre Moureau was appointed and Alfred Puech was made responsible for the upkeep ; an excellent odd job man who started the complete restoration of the building. A stay of execution seems to have been won...

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