NOAA electronics engineer Tom Ayers installs antenna elements for atmospheric river observation in Bodega Bay, CA, March 2013. In the background is a 10 meter meteorological tower. (Credit: California Department of Water Resources)
NOAA electronics engineer Tom Ayers installs antenna elements for atmospheric river observation in Bodega Bay, CA, March 2013. In the background is a 10 meter meteorological tower. (Credit: California Department of Water Resources)
Contact:  Allen White
November 27, 2013

Potential agreement could lead to Atmospheric River Observatories along WA and OR Coasts

The NOAA Earth System Resarch Laboratory's Physical Sciences Division is pursuing an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to build and install three Atmospheric River Observatories (AROs) along the coasts of Oregon and Washington.

The project, being led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will extend northward the network of four AROs that are being installed in California through partnership with the California Department of Water Resources. DOE is funding this project for wind energy considerations. NOAA Research has shown the benefit of assimilating wind profiler observations into a high-resolution numerical weather forecast model to improve short-term wind forecasts. This work is part of the DOE/NOAA-led Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP). With a picket fence of wind profilers along the West Coast, DOE may decide to have the next field project component of WFIP in the Western U.S. The first WFIP project was focused on the central plains. Weather forecasters and other end users in Seattle, Portland, and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest will benefit from these coastal observations for a variety of forecast applications including atmospheric rivers, fire weather, and coastal and marine warnings.


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