ESRL Global Systems Division
NOAA Profiler Network Backs National Readiness
The NOAA Profiler Network (NPN) is a valuable national asset in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack on the USA. In addition to providing data for meteorological forecasters at the National Weather Service, the NPN provides wind profile data to the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) in near-real-time via the internet. This facility's purpose is to predict the probable path and spread of any incident, accidental or otherwise, involving the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere. ARAC is located at the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and supports Federal and international agencies in their emergency management efforts.
ARAC has responded to atmospheric events including the Chernobyl reactor release, the Kuwaiti oil well fires set by the Iraqis at the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Tropospheric and boundary layer wind data from NPN are used in models, forecasts, and estimates of similar events.
The NOAA Profiler Network comprises 35 tropospheric wind profilers in the continental U.S. and Alaska, operating on a 24x7 basis. In addition, the NPN serves as a central data collection and distribution facility, collecting data from cooperating agencies that operate boundary layer profilers in the USA, and at other sites in the western hemisphere.
Name: Alan Pihlak