State-of-the-Art Data Collection
"It's always a challenge to get all the weather equipment in place before the study starts and keep it running during winter," says Whiteman. "We were really fortunate to have the staff of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) help us set up in November and maintain during the winter a wide array of automated weather sensors. This is state-of-the-art equipment to measure wind, temperature, moisture and other parameters from soil and the surface to miles up in the atmosphere."
NCAR's instruments were set up at nine sites, including four cemeteries.
Sebastian Hoch, a research assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, has been maintaining and collecting weather data from nearly 100 automated temperature sensors located from the Oquirrh Mountains on the west to the Wasatch Range on the east.
"I enjoy getting out of the office and hiking and snowshoeing into the mountains," he says. "And, we'll learn a lot about the depth and intensity of these inversions from this network of sensors."
Horel adds: "Our students are a bit envious of Midwest college students who get to chase tornadoes. It may be an odd substitute, but this winter our students were able to drive a couple of instrumented automobiles up Wasatch Range canyons to identify the top of the cold-air pools, which is really important to understand how the pollutants remain trapped in the valley."
Whiteman says: "There's no question that the most unusual data-collection platform was to attach the instrument package normally tied to a weather balloon to the helmet of a pilot of a motorized glider. The pilot was able to climb back and forth through th
|Contact: Lee Siegel|
University of Utah