February 7, 2014 to February 28, 2014
Project Description: 
Plymouth State Meteorology DOW Project (PSUMet-DOW)

Principle Investigator: Dr. Sam Miller
Where: Department of Meteorology, Plymouth State University
When: 7-28 February 2014
Facility: Doppler on Wheels



The Center for Severe Weather Research Doppler on Wheels (DOW) visited Plymouth State University (PSU), in Plymouth, New Hampshire, for the three-week period from February 7 to 28, 2014. The DOW was used for classroom instruction in PSU’s graduate Radar Meteorology and Mesoscale Meteorology courses as well several undergraduate courses; outreach to the broader PSU campus, area schools, and several communities; and research, completing deployments across New Hampshire. DOW data will prove useful in our program-wide project to study cold-air damming and mixed-phase precipitation in central New Hampshire.

The Plymouth State Meteorology DOW Project efforts were focused on enhancing instruction in graduate courses MT5340 Radar Meteorology and MT5480 Mesoscale Meteorology; undergraduate courses MT4510 Senior Research, MT4500 Undergraduate Research, MT4480 Mesoscale Meteorology, MT4330 Current Weather Seminar, MT3280 Synoptic Meteorology II, MT3230 Atmospheric Thermodynamics, and ESP2110 Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy II.

Educational Objectives

Radar Meteorology (MT5340) was the primary course to use the DOW. This course provides a broad overview of the hardware and theory behind the application of meteorological radar data. The course begins with a short history of radar meteorology, followed by a brief summary of the radar hardware and theory applicable to meteorological use and interpretation—beam spreading, ducting, anomalous propagation, etc. The differences between reflectivity, Doppler, and polarimetric measurements are discussed. Much of the remainder of the course is used to cover the different levels of WSR-88D data, the available products for each level, algorithms used to automatically analyze these data, and applying these data to real world problems, such as quantitative precipitation estimates and severe local storms detection. One element this course has lacked in the past is direct, hands-on experience with Doppler radar hardware and operations. Bringing the DOW to our campus, during the semester when MT5340 is taught, greatly enhanced the educational experience of graduate students studying weather radar. They were able to see the radar in action, learn how to operate it themselves, and participate in the design and execution of five deployments to collect data for their own semester-length research projects using the data developed by the radar.

>> Read the complete PSUMet-DOW Facility Request

>> Read the complete PSUMet-DOW Summary Report