2011-09-24 10:35:54.000 – Steve Welsh, Weather Observer/IT Specialist
Yesterday was very different for me as I managed to escape the summit for a few hours to attend a meeting in our valley office. It was certainly a strange feeling heading down the mountain on a non-shift day – it was also a surprise to see how far the fall foliage has progressed since Wednesday. It’s still far from peak but there certainly is some color now, especially higher up where the birch is mostly yellow.
The meeting was to review the progress of an EPSCoR sponsored project the observatory is undertaking with NASA, CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory)and PSU (Plymouth State University). The aim of the research is to help improve our understanding of icing conditions and so create better forecast models. This knowledge will then be used to determine the best locations for wind turbines and how icing conditions affect low flying aircraft, especially during take-off and landing. It was very interesting hearing about the overall goals and what’s involved in this very ambitious project – both on the data sensor side, data collection methods and the final processing end (being a self confessed Linux geek I was very envious of the various Linux based super computers that will be used to create the final icing models). It’s also very nice to hear that the data we collect, both on the mountain and at the various Mesonet sites, really does have a valuable purpose in furthering our understanding of the natural environment.
Now all we need is some ice!
Steve Welsh, Weather Observer/IT Specialist