Poster Session P6R.1 Development of a High Resolution Precipitation Research Facility in the Northern Plains

Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Alvarado F and Atria (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Paul A. Kucera, Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND; and C. R. Williams and K. S. Gage

Handout (466.6 kB)

The Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of North Dakota has developed a high resolution precipitation research facility in the northern plains. The site is located about 60 km south-southeast of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The research site resides on the Nature Conservancy Glacial Ridge Prairie Restoration Project, a 24,000 acre property that is currently being restored to native tall prairie grasses and wetlands from existing farm and graze land. The extensive area of the property provides a unique opportunity to study precipitation variability over temporal scales of minutes to an annual time frame and spatial scales ranging from meters to tens of kilometers. For surface observations, the research facility currently has a small network of rain gauges, video disdrometers, snow gauges, a surface met station, and a variety of radiometers to measure longwave/shortwave radiation. In collaboration with the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, a 915 MHz wind profiler has been deployed at Glacial Ridge in efforts to measure boundary layer wind fields and the vertical structure of precipitation. The field site also includes a microwave radiometer and has the infrastructure to support a variety of other instrumentation. The research facility is designed to complement existing hydrologic research activities at Glacial Ridge. The site is ideally located to provide surface precipitation observations for radar studies using the UND C-Band polarimetric Doppler weather radar located in Grand Forks and with the Mayville WSR-88D Doppler weather radar located in Mayville, North Dakota. An overview of the facility, planned research activities, and observations will be given in the presentation.
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