85th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 9 January 2005
Design, testing, and initial deployment of a prototype portable automated research micrometeorological station (PARMS)
Jim Southard, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. B. Basara, D. L. Grimsley, and B. G. Illston
The Oklahoma Mesonet (Brock et al. 1995) has provided valuable and timely data to researchers, operational meteorologists, and decision makers for over ten years. The success of the Mesonet can be credited in part to the wide array of meteorological variables measured and the frequency at which these measurements are collected. However, arguably the greatest strength of the Oklahoma Mesonet is its spatial resolution. With at least one station in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties, the Oklahoma Mesonet can resolve meteorological features that synoptic-scale observation networks cannot. In order to build on the success of the Oklahoma Mesonet, a need has recently been identified to supplement Mesonet observations with measurements collected over even smaller spatial and temporal scales using portable stations that can be deployed and moved with a minimal effort.

This study describes the design, construction, testing, and deployment of the Portable Automated Research Micrometeorological Stations (PARMS) currently being developed at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. The station design balances the need for a stable platform that can collect research quality data with the requirements for portability and rapid deployment. During the testing phase, the prototype PARMS station was deployed very near the existing Mesonet site at Norman. By intercomparing the measurements collected at each station, it is demonstrated that PARMS stations do indeed provide the stable platform that is required for recording measurements on fine spatial and temporal scales, without compromising portability. Finally, the initial deployment of the first PARMS site is described, in order to provide insight into the many and varied meteorological applications of the future PARMS network.

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