Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Geek Out

While you were sleeping this Sunday, we were up early (~4:30 am) and off to the "Salt Flats" to do some atmospheric profiling with a tethersonde and GPS-based upper-air observing system.

In reality, I was along for the ride as the two students pictured below know more about operating these systems than I do.  One of the great things about being a professor is that your students can "take you to places that you can't go by yourself" (and hopefully I repay the favor).  

The data collected today will help us to understand interactions between the atmosphere and desert playa, pictured below.  

Of particular concern are the unique thermal characteristics of the playa, which yields temperatures that are much higher overnight than in the surrounding sagebrush region.  The playa can also be a couple of degrees cooler during the afternoon.

We also hope to better model the influence of the playa and it's influence on local circulations in Utah and other desert regions.

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