The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society is sponsoring a presentation this evening (Monday, July 22) on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather station located at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge.
The program will be led by Tilden Meyers, deputy director of the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of NOAA. A scientist with NOAA for nearly 28 years, Meyers has worked on issues related to acid deposition, air quality, and climate change. Much of his research is focused on land-atmosphere interactions, particularly the role various land surface types (grasslands, forests, crops) play in both the water and carbon cycles and how these are affected by significant climatic events such as droughts and extreme temperature events, a press release said.
Tonight’s presentation starts at 7 p.m. at the Outdoor Shelter with Meyers speaking for about 15 minutes. With a full moon as a possible backdrop, he will then walk participants to the weather station to talk about the actual equipment. The walk (about 15-20 minutes) consists of an initial 1,000 feet on a gravel drive and the rest of the walk is on a mowed area. The program will end between 8:30-9 pm.
The climate monitoring station at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge was installed in the summer of 2007. Criteria for long-term climate monitoring stations are critical for maintaining a climate record that minimizes biases in the temperature and precipitation records caused by local disturbances, the press release said. Because of the need for climate data in our area, the Arboretum offered several excellent locations for the equipment.
The system has the same instrumentation and station architecture as those used in NOAA’s national climate monitoring network (the U.S. Climate Reference network, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/). For critical observations of air temperature and precipitation, there are identical sensors on each system. This is necessary to eliminate biases and errors in the data. At this particular site, wind speed and wind direction at 10 m, along with incoming solar radiation, relative humidity and surface or “skin” temperature are also monitored. Also, soil moisture and soil temperature are observed at depths of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 cm. This information is important for monitoring soil water status and assessing drought impacts.
For more information on the weather station program call the Arboretum at (865) 483-3571 or visit the UTAS website at http://utarboretumsociety.org/
The UT Arboretum is at 901 S. Illinois Ave. in Oak Ridge.