Short Course
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AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY

 

SHORT COURSE ON INTRODUCTION TO METEOROLOGICAL

INSTRUMENTATION AND OBSERVATION TECHNIQUES

14 JANUARY 2001

 

SHORT COURSE ORGANIZER

Gennaro H. Crescenti, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

 

AMS COMMITTEE ON MEASUREMENTS

Gennaro H. Crescenti, Chair

Robert A. Baxter, Stephen A. Cohn, Donald E. Lehrman, Matthew J. Parker

Scott J. Richardson, Kenneth L. Van Sickle, Allen B. White, Daniel E. Wolfe

 

SHORT COURSE INSTRUCTORS

C. Bruce Baker

Robert A. Baxter

Paul M. Fransioli

Scott J. Richardson

Yvette P. Richardson

Melanie A. Wetzel

Daniel E. Wolfe

 

 

07:30 a.m.  SHORT COURSE AND CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

 

08:15 a.m.  INTRODUCTION

                        Gennaro H. Crescenti, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

 

08:30 a.m.  WIND MEASUREMENTS

                        Robert A. Baxter, Parsons Engineering Science, Pasadena, CA

 

09:00 a.m.  TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY MEASUREMENTS

                        Paul M. Fransioli, SAIC, Las Vegas, NV

 

09:30 a.m.  VARIATION IN THE MEASUREMENT OF TEMPERATURE TO INCOMING

                        SOLAR RADIATION USING ASPIRATED AND NON-ASPIRATED SHIELDS

                        C. Bruce Baker, NOAA National Climate Data Center, Asheville, NC

 

10:00 a.m.  COFFEE BREAK

 

10:30 a.m.  INTRODUCTION TO STANDARDS

                        Paul M. Fransioli, SAIC, Las Vegas, NV

 

11:00 a.m.  INSTRUMENTED TOWERS

                        Melanie A. Wetzel, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

 

11:30 a.m.  HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL MEASUREMENTS

                        Melanie A. Wetzel, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

 

12:00 p.m.  LUNCHEON --- HORROR STORIES FROM THE FIELD

                        Daniel E. Wolfe, NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, CO

 

01:30 p.m.  HANDS-ON WORKSHOP:  INSTRUMENTS & DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS

                        Scott J. Richardson, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

                        Yvette P. Richardson, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

 

03:30 p.m.  COFFEE BREAK

 

04:00 p.m.  AIR QUALITY ASSESSMENT

                        Melanie A. Wetzel, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

 

04:30 p.m.  QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES

                        Robert A. Baxter, Parsons Engineering Science, Pasadena, CA

 

05:00 p.m.  SHORT COURSE ENDS

 

 

Other Short Course References

 

Baxter, R. A., 2001:  A simple step by step method for the alignment of wind sensors to true north.  Preprint, Eleventh Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 14-19, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 1-4.  [Download / view PDF]

 

U. S. EPA, 1995: Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems. Volume IV: Meteorological Measurements. EPA-600/R-94-038d, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC.  [Download / view PDF Part 1 and Part 2]

 

U. S. EPA, 1998:  EPA Guidance for Quality Assurance Project Plans.  EPA-600/R-98-018, Office of Research and Development, Washington, D. C.  [Download / view PDF]

 

U. S. EPA, 2000:  Meteorological Monitoring Guidance for Regulatory Modeling Applications.  EPA-454/R-99-005, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC.  [Download / view PDF]

 

Compass (ver. 1.2) by Robert A. Baxter.  This program calculates the azimuth and elevation angle of the sun based on the date, time, latitude, and longitude of a given location.  This program is used in conjunction with alignment measurements of sensors or other devices where a local correction for magnetic or other deviation from true measurements is needed.  Click HERE to view the "read me" file containing more detailed information about this program.  [Download / execute program]

 

Instrument Texts

Brock, F. V., and C. E. Nicolaidis (eds.), 1985: Instructor’s Handbook on Meteorological Instrumentation. NCAR Technical Note 237+IA, Boulder, CO.

Brock. F. V., and S. J. Richardson, 2001: Meteorological Measurement Systems.  Oxford University Press, New York, 290 p.

DeFelice, T. P., 1998: An Introduction to Meteorological Instrumentation and Measurement. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 229 p.

Mason, C. J., and H. Moses, 1984: Meteorological Instrumentation. In: Atmospheric Science and Power Production, D. Randerson (ed.), pp. 81-135, U. S. Dept. Energy, DOE/TIC-27601, 850 p.

Simidchiev, D. A., 1986: Compendium of Lecture Notes on Meteorological Instruments for Training Class III and Class IV Meteorological Personnel. WMO No. 622, Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 625 p.

World Meteorological Organization, 1983: Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation (Fifth Ed.). WMO No. 8, Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Wylie, R. G., and T. Lalas, 1992: Measurement of Temperature and Humidity. WMO No. 759, Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 71 p.

Other Papers of Interest

Cohn, S. A., J. Hallett, and D. Koracin, 1997:  Blending education and research in atmospheric science --- a case study.  Physics Today, May issue, 34-39.

Serafin, R., B. Heikes, D. Sargeant, W. Smith, E. Takle, and R. Wakimoto, 1991:  Study on observational systems:  A review of meteorological and oceanographic education in observational techniques and the relationship to national facilities and needs.  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 72, 815-826.

Takle, E. S., 1998:  University instruction in observational techniques.  Survey responses.  Preprint, Tenth Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., J17-J18.

Takle, E. S., 2000:  University instruction in observational techniques:  survey responses.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 81, 1319-1325.

Short Course Evaluation Results

A total of 56 participants registered for the short course.  Each participant was asked to fill out a survey at the end of the course.  A total of 33 surveys were returned.  Each participant was asked to circle either 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for the questions below.  A response of 1 signifies a strong "yes" while 5 signifies a strong "no".  The mean ± standard deviation are shown with each survey question.

(a) This short course met my expectations:  2.0 ± 1.0

(b) I was pleased with the faculty:  1.8 ± 1.0

(c) The audio-visual presentations were clear and helpful:  1.6 ± 0.8

(d) The course fee was a good value:  2.0 ± 0.9

(e) The length of the course was appropriate for the material:  2.1 ± 0.9

Suggestions for future short courses:

Continuing this topic every two years would be fantastic.  I would recommend this course to any graduate or undergraduate student not already exposed to this material.

Good overview!  I'd like more detail just on basic tower instruments (i.e., more on hardware) and also on air pollution measurements.

Will this course be offered every two years?

Try again --- I know this is the first time.

The short talk on standards and practices seemed a bit out of place --- I think more introduction into this is needed or else remove it entirely.

The information presented could be slightly more technical while still being appropriate for an introductory course.

Common statistical analysis techniques for meteorologists.

Interpreting the data:  failings, shortcomings, good points, bad points of current sensors and new technologies.

A course which addresses "advanced" meteorological instrumentation and observations would be helpful for individuals already familiar with systems and techniques.

It would have been nice to include a discussion on optical sensors (e.g., visibility, precipitation identification, ceilometers).  Also, how about a section on testing sensors.  This short course seemed to focus on the end user but it would be helpful to hear how people test the sensors to determine what references they use, metrics, etc.  Maybe this could generate an exchange of ideas.

Include topics of optical sensors such as precipitation identification sensor, visibility sensor, and laser technology like lidar and ceilometer.  Also radiation sensors.

Mathematical techniques in meteorology.

Need a bit more on data collection, preservation, sharing.

Forecasting downbursts and lightning and lightning safety.

One major topic that I felt was missing was a review of specific instruments from different manufacturers with an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of each.  This would be helpful for someone who will have to put together a meteorology station.  I realize that time is limited, so perhaps this unrealistic for a one-day course.  Otherwise, faculty was great, lectures were excellent.

Remote sensing techniques, geographic information systems.

Make it a two-day course --- increase the hands-on time.

Really like the hands-on demos, would have been a good addition.  Liked the reference list!  Nice notebook.  I like the more detailed talks that addressed specific issues than the general info with less detail.  Very informative.  I like that there were different speakers with different perspectives.  Pace was about right.  I like the format of slides and text.  Later I want to read it in more detail.  Pictures often did not copy well.

(1) Broaden the diversity of parameters (pressure is never discussed); (2) reduce the time spent on QA/QC and standards; (3) no need for lab; (4) instruct faculty not to recite their slides verbatim.

More concentration on instruments.  Less on policy/standards.

I would to like to see more focus on technical specifications (i.e., what accuracy should we see for different instruments, etc.).  Also focus on what instruments can be used for what data (i.e., radiosondes with wind GPS capability alongside sodar, etc.).

I think before you do the hands-on stuff that you need to find out about their background.

Continue lab, the lab experiments were excellent and connected well to the course.

Other comments:

The hands-on workshop was great for people with little or no experience with meteorological instruments.  Thank you!

Good basic instruction of instruments.

This course was enhanced by the hands-on laboratory.  I would suggest the whole afternoon be dedicated to such an activity.  Thank you for making this course available.  It has contributed to my education.

I really appreciated the write-ups that Paul Fransioli provided.  Also the hands-on lab was fabulous.  This short course is the best of the three I have attended.  Moderator kept us on schedule and resolved any problems --- super!

Many thanks to the AMS for offering this course and lectures by the excellent faculty.  This course is useful for undergraduate course work and curriculum development.  Thanks to the lecture faculty.

Melanie Wetzel should work on presentation --- simply reading a slide to me is adequate.  I think the workshop should do a presentation of some of the more exotic instrumentation as well as standard instruments.  I thought the presentation on instrument exposure was weak.  I think you should lose the "air quality monitoring" section altogether.  The section on "meteorological towers" was trivialized with too much detail on peripheral issues.

Good overview.  Enjoyed the lab exercises.  Helpful to have more comparisons of commercial transducers.

The hands-on labs were very interesting.  Great job for the workshop as a whole.

It was helpful to have a hands-on laboratory portion of the course.

Although time was already filled with other useful presentations, it may be useful to include some information on remote observing systems such as lidar, sodar, wind profilers, and satellite sensors.

I believe that this course met the advertised content but I was hoping for more depth for my perspective.  I would have liked more on satellite or remote sensing but that would have exceeded the frames of reference of most attendees.  This is an excellent syllabus for new meteorologists recruited for operational work but needs detail on how to interpret data.

Focus was a little skewed towards air quality monitoring and EPA guidelines, suggest perhaps including NWS/WMO standards for surface observing/equipment standards.  Also may want to address most common equipment types (i.e., most common wind sensors, etc.).

The course, although somewhat basic, still offered me new information and ideas.  I felt the lab was a bit basic for myself, but at the same time, very helpful for others --- a good balance I think.  All in all, a very good course for individuals new to meteorological measurements!

Overall, I enjoyed the short course, especially talking off-line to people about their experiences.  I really think this topic could encompass two days to include more than just temperature and wind.

The lab section was very informative.  Possibly allocate more time to accomplish each activity.  Also, this course could be extended into a two-day course since many more sensors exist (other than wind, temperature and tipping bucket sensors).  Other sensors were discussed briefly in a few presentations.  Overall, the course was very useful in broadening and refreshing my knowledge of instrumentation.  I would be interested in taking a "revised" course in the future.

Lab session was good!  Thanks to OU!  Courses need to bring technology and techniques down to a more general level.  Levels of meteorological instrumentation need to addressed (e.g., R. M. Young, professional instruments; Davis, hobby instruments).

Greatly appreciated literature references.  Course handouts like like it will be very useful.

This course was too basic.  Try to cover too much material in too short a time.  The course description/advertisement should give some idea of the level/appropriate audience.  I did not find the lab useful --- would much have preferred more details in briefings than two hours of lab.

I expected more "hands-on" and technical information about the sensors.  My background had already provided a lot of the lecture information.  More time for lab, with more sensors involved would be good.  Perhaps an optional lab extension.

Maybe make the lab more structured like giving a set time for each activity then make us rotate around the room so we can do all of the labs.

Great course!

I really enjoyed the lab.

Course is excruciatingly elementary.  Probably at about the 11th grade level.  There is an aversion to discuss any aspects of physics (e.g., fluid dynamics or thermodynamics) as relevant to observational techniques.  Too much of the lecture time (> 20%) is spent on standards and QA/QC.  It could have been spent discussing the important, modern observational techniques (e.g., radar, lidar, remote sensing, sondes) not the archaic technology (tipping buckets and sling psychrometers).

The "hands-on" wasn't too useful for me --- I did enough electronics as an undergraduate!

Great overview!

I especially enjoyed Melanie Wetzel's description of hydrometeorological network design and instrumentation.  Could you fit a description of upper-air observation/sounding systems?  If you had to cut some material in order to do this, then I would recommend compressing the section on shields and combine with temperature and humidity measurement section.  Thanks.

All speakers were world class and related complex subject matter in clear, easy to understand format.  OUTSTANDING!  QUALITY SHORT COURSE.

Hands-on session is very useful.