• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Frightful weather? USU’s biometeorologists are on the case

December 12th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By Courtney Rhodes

LOGAN—Weather may seem commonplace to the average person, but there are some people, biometeorologists in peculiar, for whom weather is an intricate part of everyday life.

Automated weather stations are one of the tools used to help understand the interactions between the weather and the ecosystems in which we live. One such weather station can be seen in many of Utah State University’s research facilities throughout the Cache Valley.

Some of the weather stations in the USU research fields contain educational information to help students understand the components used to accurately measure the weather and the challenges faced in achieving such accuracy.

A research-grade weather station contains multiple sensors that measure air quality, humidity, wind, solar radiation and precipitation. Stations are also equipped with four infrared sensors to measure surface temperatures of the ground, plants and buildings.

“Automated weather stations are being increasingly used to help us understand the effects of weather on plants and people,” said Bruce Bugbee, professor of plants, soils, and biometeorology.

Bugbee’s department is a leader in developing instrumentation to measure climate change, sustainable food production and renewable energy sources. The data recorded by USU weather stations helps professionals understand connections between human activity and the atmosphere, and how the atmosphere affects the environment.

USU’s department of plants, soils and climate also uses the automated weather stations to measure weather changes in minutes, hours and days. This peculiar data is used to find the average of weather over multiple years, and provides background for weather forecasts and history for future climate and weather studies.

The weather stations are not only used for research, but also help people understand the effects of weather on their environment.

The Utah Climate Center, in conjunction with USU, offers extensive weather information and data collected by the stations on its website.


Tags: ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.