Plymouth State University Hosts Doppler Radar Mobile Unit; Sophisticated Weather Equipment Open to Public Visits

February 4th, 2014 by blyndes

A group of Holderness Central School 6th graders pose with the DOW during the vehicle's Feb. 10 th visit to the school. The Doppler On Wheels is visiting schools throughout the Granite State in mid-February and assisting PSU meteorological students and faculty with research projects.

PLYMOUTH, N.H.–Meteorology students at Plymouth State University and local public schools will get a first-hand look at one of the world’s most sophisticated pieces of weather research technology, as the Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) mobile radar system spends the next three weeks in the Plymouth area. In addition to PSU students and faculty using the DOW to study weather science, students in Plymouth, Campton, Rumney and Bedford will get on-site visits, as well as the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, the Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, the Rey Center in Waterville Valley, and the Mount Washington Observatoryin Gorham, N.H.

Inside the DOW, technician Traeger Meyer, right, explains the meteorological data collection equipment to Holderness Central School students

The DOW vehicle, which has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” show, will arrive in Plymouth February 7 courtesy of a National Science Foundation Center for Severe Weather Research grant application submitted by PSU Associate Professor of Meteorology Dr. Sam Miller. The DOW will be available for public viewing in Plymouth February 14 at the Town Common and DOW staffers will speak about how the vehicle has been used to study thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes and winter weather such as lake-effect snow.

“It’s wonderful to get it here,” said Dr. Miller. “It’s going to be really useful to us because it’s a great outreach tool to raise awareness with the public, it’s wonderful as an educational tool for teaching a variety of classes and it’s great for research purposes.”

Miller said some of the projects students are anticipating using the weather radar unit to study are freezing precipitation, heavy snow squalls, mixed precipitation events and other winter weather in northern New England.

A group of engineers travel with the vehicle to train students and faculty about how the equipment works and to assist with research projects developed by PSU.

The National Science Foundation-funded DOW program has three vehicles and spends about six months each year on the road; two months typically is spent storm-chasing during tornado and hurricane season, and the balance is spent on education and other research projects, such as the time in Plymouth. The schedule for the DOW in our area is as follows:

Feb. 10        9 – 10 a.m. Blue Heron School, Squam Lake,

11 a.m. to 1:00 pm, Holderness Public School

Feb. 11        All day, Plymouth Regional High School and Plymouth Elementary

Feb. 12        All day, Bedford High School

Feb. 13        Morning, Rumney Elementary School, Afternoon, Campton Elementary

Feb. 14         9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Plymouth Town Common (public availability)

Feb. 17-18    Hartman Union Building, Plymouth State University

Feb. 19         All day, Weather Discovery Center, North Conway

Feb. 20         Morning, Weather Discovery Center, N. Conway, Afternoon, HUB

Feb. 21         All day, Rey Center, Waterville Valley

Feb. 22-23    All day, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord

Feb. 26         Base of Mount Washington Auto Road

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

 

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