83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003
Observations of the meteorology of two Nevada basins
Stephen A. Cohn, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. Hallett, J. Lewis, and W. O. J. Brown
Poster PDF (454.3 kB)
During four weeks of February and March 2002, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) operated two ntegrated Sounding Systems (ISS) in the Reno Basin just south of Huffaker Hills and in the Washoe Basin just west of Washoe Lake. The ISS measures winds and thermodynamics near the ground, and also profiles of wind and temperature to several kilometers with a radar wind profiler and to as high as 15 km using a balloon-borne radiosonde.

The deployment was part of an educational project organized by the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute. Graduate students studied the instruments as the instruments studied the atmosphere. The scientific goal of the deployment was to collect a data set to study several meteorological processes and how they differ in the two basins. These include the formation, evolution, and break-up of inversions which trap pollutants near the surface, the influence of the basins on winter fronts moving over and around the Sierra, high wind speed events which generate waves and turbulence at mountain top altitudes, and processes in the melting layer where snow aloft melts into rain.

This presentation will present examples of the weather events observed, including an unusual dust storm and a frontal passage which may have contributed to a small aircraft upset.

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