A Doppler on Wheels radar truck, deployed on Pudding Hill in Lyndonville during residency in 2012.

Lyndon State Again Hosts Doppler on Wheels

Free Public Presentation on DOWs and Tornado and Hurricane Research, February 3

January 27, 2015

Doppler on Wheels (DOW) returns to the Lyndon State College campus for a three-week stint beginning January 29. It’s rare for the DOW to make a return trip to a campus; this is the third visit in five years.

The DOW, containing a state-of-the-art weather radar system, will be used as an experiential learning tool by the students and faculty in the college’s Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) department. Students in the Remote Sensing class will receive hands-on training in the theory, interpretation, and collection of Doppler radar data including how weather radar works, how to collect good data, and how to find the ideal site for measuring precipitation. Students will be responsible for deploying the radar during significant winter events and analyzing its data. A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funds the department’s use of the DOW.

DOW’s are used extensively in storm chasing, observing more than 100 tornadoes at close range, and have intercepted the eyes of many hurricanes. Their mobility also allows them to move to locations free from ground clutter for clearer readings than stationary radars can provide. The DOW fleet has been featured on TV, including Discovery Channel’s reality series “Storm Chasers,” National Geographic Channel’s specials “Tornado Intercept” and “The True Face of Hurricanes,” and PBS’s Nova episode “The Hunt for the Supertwister.”

The Boulder, Colorado, based Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) operates the truck-mounted mobile radars with the funding largely provided by the National Science Foundation. The DOW fleet and its associated mobile mesonet and pod deployable weather stations support a wide variety of NSF-sponsored research.

On Tuesday, February 3, the public is invited to hear a technician from the CSWR discuss DOW-based tornado and hurricane research. The free hour-long presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Moore Community Room/ASAC (Academic and Student Activity Center) room 100.

For more information on the DOW’s residency at Lyndon, please visit meteorology.lyndonstate.edu/department-updates/dow-visits-lsc/ or contact LSC ATM professor Jason Shafer at 802 626-6225 or jason.shafer@lyndonstate.edu.

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