January 30, 2012 to February 17, 2012
Project Location: 
Lyndonville, VT
Project Description: 

DOW Observations of New England Winter Storms-2 :: DOWNEWS2

Principal Investigator :: Nolan Atkins
When :: 30 January - 17 February 2012
Where :: Lyndon State College - Lyndonville, VT
Facility :: Doppler on Wheels



DOWNEWS 2 will deploy the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) weather radar to collect data on winter storms affecting northern New England. This time period coincides with the climatological maximum of winter storms affecting northern New England. The proposed deployment will run concurrently with the Remote Sensing course offered at Lyndon State College (LSC) where the theory and application of Doppler weather radar is taught. The course typically enrolls 15 undergraduate students.

During the deployments, LSC students will:

  1. Be introduced to components and operation of the DOW radar;
  2. Plan, forecast, and lead the deployment of multiple missions designed to collect data on winter storms;
  3. Analyze the data as part of small group projects that will be presented in the Remote Sensing course, the annual Northeastern Storm Conference, and possibly the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Student Conference held concurrently with the Annual Meeting.

K-12 students and teachers from nearby schools will also have the opportunity to learn about the operation and use of the DOW radar.

Use of the DOW

DOW missions will focus on collecting data in two different precipitation scenarios. The first is the stratiform precipitation region where numerous types of precipitation are often observed (e.g., snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain). The horizontal and vertical structure of this precipitation region will be sampled. There is high interest in collecting dual-polarization data on the vertical structure and evolution of this precipitation region when different precipitation types are present. A good deployments location was identified for this precipitation scenario based on experiences from DOWNEWS 2011.

The second precipitation scenario is orographic enhancement in either northwest or southeast flow. Significant enhancement is often observed west of the Green Mountains on northwest flow and east of the White Mountains on New Hampshire in southeast flow. Large contrasts in precipitation amounts from mountain to adjacent lowland areas are common in both flow regimes. Both mountain ranges are easily accessible from LSC. A good deployment location was identified last winter near Richford, VT for northwest flow events.

For all of the deployments, it is anticipated that the Vaisala rawinsonde system will be used to collect soundings at or near the radar deployment site. This data will be combined with the radar observations to help with radar data interpretation.

See the DOWNEWS2 Facility Request.

DOWNEWS2 In the News

Lyndon State Hosts Doppler on Wheels
1 February 2012


DOWNEWS2 Final Report

During the time period from 30 January to 17 February, 2012, a Doppler on Wheels X-band, dual polarization and dual frequency mobile radar was deployed at Lyndon State College (LSC). The two objectives for this educational project were to teach students in the LSC junior-level Remote Sensing course how Doppler weather radars work and interpretation of the dual‐polarization variables. The second objective was to expose the greater Lyndon community to the radar and how it has been used in past projects to collect data on high impact weather events such as hurricanes and tornadic storms. Read the complete DOWNEWS2 Final Report.