will be fun to analyze and explain! - DOW2 Log, 2/17/2000
Jeff Trapp, Ph. D.- NOAA/NSSL 02/10/00
NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory and
Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies
DOW3 is still not operational, due to a faulty motor that controls the radar antenna rotation. I spent several days last week dealing with this problem: draining gear oil, cleaning contact points, checking voltages, and otherwise running diagnostic tests dictated to me over a cell phone by Steve McDonald. But, ultimately, it will require a new motor and Steve's expertise. Consequently, Luciano, DOW3's operator, is my companion today.
Finding a good radar site was challenging, to put it mildly! Ideally, we like to find a level spot, off the side of a paved road, with unobstructed views in all directions. Radar sites used during the other IOPs (IOP=Intensive Observing Periods) were determined on clear, sunny, "down" days; today, I was forced to site the radar while driving in moderate snowfall, with snowplows whizzing by, and with the added pressure that we were missing valuable data-collection time. The Erda Way Rd. site was in the vicinity of a few trees, buildings, and telephone poles, which blocked some of the radar beams when the radar scanned at low angles relative to the horizon. But, it sufficed.
Within the snowband, the air motions deduced from the Doppler velocity are complex, consisting of vortices, zones of convergence, and waves. Jim would later show me a loop of satellite images of clouds that exhibited similar complexity. This will be fun to analyze and explain!
One of Dave Rust's students is now here, and will escort Luciano to his abandoned, gas-depleted car, and then on to Grantsville for a fuel stop. Once he returns, we'll drive back to Salt Lake City, to where the most action now seems to be shifting, and deploy DOW2 once again to our site south of the airport (which, incidentally, is 1/2 miles from a landfill). In the meanwhile, I'm finally relaxed enough to eat my sandwich.
The air motions within the snow continue to be complex and a bit confusing. Unlike in the Tooele Valley, the radar scans now are no longer suggesting an obvious effect of the mountains on the snowfall.
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