Thunderstorms that form at night, without a spark from the sun's heat, are a mysterious phenomenon. This summer, scientists will be staying up late in search of some answers. The effort, co-organized by numerous collaborating institutions, will use lab-equipped aircraft, ground-based instruments and weather balloons to better understand the atmospheric conditions that lead to storm formation and evolution after sunset. What the scientists find may ultimately help improve forecasts of these sometimes damaging storms. Find out more in this news release.
In January 2015, the deployment of a Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) during one of New England's largest snowstorms in recent history offered an opportunity to study the details of storm development and evolution. The data gathered are likely to provide insights into the intensity and type of precipitation in these storms and to improve the ability to predict snowfall amounts. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: Josh Wurman, Karen Kosiba, CSWR
Using the Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW), the King Air and other equipment, scientists from across the country converged on the shores of Lake Ontario. They worked to better understand the atmospheric conditions and mechanisms that lead to the deep snows that accumulate across the region each winter. The NSF-funded project, called OWLeS (Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems), was a collaborative effort of nine universities. OWLeS' unique suite of modern mobile observing equipment and computer-based storm models was expected to help researchers understand the processes that control the timing and location of the zones of heavy snow. Find out more in this news release.
The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) of the Directorate for Geosciences supports research to add new understanding of the behavior of the Earth's atmosphere and its interactions with the sun.
A new generation of smaller, highly capable radar systems in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is able to track with more accuracy the location of tornadoes and other severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain and ice storms, compared to other systems.
May 18, 2015
Doppler on Wheels--the biggest 'dish' on the road!
Scientists aim for the eye of the storm to study hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards from the inside
For nearly a decade, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Doppler on Wheels (DOW) has been doing its best work in dangerous weather, driving into the eye of the storm to gather scientific data about wind, rain and snow that are missed by stationary radar systems.
Meteorologist Josh Wurman and his team at the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo., can coordinate a fleet of storm-chasing vehicles from a compact control room inside one of the DOW trucks. From thunderstorms to blizzards, hurricanes to tornadoes, DOW is providing extensive and detailed information that may ultimately improve warning systems and weather prediction.
The research in this episode was funded by NSF award #0734001, Doppler On Wheels Mobile Radar Network.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.