83rd Annual

Sunday, 9 February 2003
Field Research in 2002 Using the Oklahoma Mesonet
Daniel R. Cheresnick, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. B. Basara
During the spring and summer of 2002, a series of skin temperature measurements were collected at Oklahoma Mesonet supersites across central and western portions of the state. Each visit consisted of field measurements collected within the Mesonet site enclosure. In addition, field samples were also collected at discrete locations in the surrounding terrain.

There were several goals of this study. First it was designed as a validation experiment of the tower mounted Mesonet skin temperature sensors. A secondary use of the field data was to demonstrate the variability in skin temperature over a 30 by 30 meter area enclosing the site and portions of the adjacent landscape. Thus the data was used to determine the representativeness of the single Mesonet sensor. Finally, this data was used to determine the impact of vegetation in the variability skin temperature measurements. This portion of the study was due to a significant evolution in vegetation conditions at some sites. For example, the vegetation surrounding the Grandfield, OK site included young wheat, mature wheat, harvested wheat, and plowed fields during the course of the field sampling. These conditions played a critical role in the variability of skin temperature measured at Mesonet sites.

To aid in the analysis of the data collected during the sampling, extensive documentation was conducted to allow for thorough comparison. In addition, digital photographs were taken at each site, in all directions, and from a ladder looking downward both inside and outside the site. Initial results demonstrate that the impact of vegetation on skin temperature is quite significant. However, the mean of the field measurements compared well with tower mounted sensors.

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