92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 5:15 PM
Using Sonic Anemometers for Design and Testing of Wind Shields
Room 239 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Tilden P. Meyers, NOAA, Oak Ridge, TN; and J. Kochendorfer, M. E. Hall, C. B. Baker, and E. Dumas

The United States Climate Reference Network (USCRN) has a primary goal to provide long-term homogeneous observations of temperature and precipitation that can be coupled to long-term historical observations for the detection and attribution of present and future climate change. Accurate measurements of precipitation necessitate the use a continuous weighing gauge. For quality measurements of snowfall, rain gauges encased within a wind shield to maximize the "catch" of solid precipitation during windy conditions are necessary.

Major studies have been undertaken to evaluate the catch ratio of the more common and some alternative shield configurations All of these studies use the resultant total accumulation of some reference standard to evaluate the performance of various shield configurations. To fully understand the effectiveness of the various wind shield configurations, several wind shield studies were conducted to evaluate the airflow at and near the gauge orifice placed in several wind shield configurations. The mean and turbulent flow fields around each wind shield configuration were characterized with sonic anemometers which can rapidly measure the three dimensional flow vectors. In particular, the wind speed at the gauge was compared to a reference sonic anemometer located on a small mast some distance away from the fences.

Remarkably, the ranking of the wind shields by reduction in the mean wind speed at the gauge similar to the catch ratios published in major WMO studies, suggesting that the flow field measurements may provide a useful tool for designing and quantifying catch ratios for existing and new wind shield configurations. The results also suggest that the low porosity double Alter, which is smaller in footprint than the DFIR or SDFIR, may generate the necessary flow field characteristics to provide catch ratios similar to the DFIR.

Supplementary URL: