DOE and NOAA have signed an inter-agency agreement for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to work with NOAA HMT and Scintec AG to construct, deploy, operate and maintain a new network of three atmospheric river observatories (AROs) for the Oregon and Washington coasts. This network compliments a similar network of AROS being deployed in California by HMT through an agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (CA-DWR).
With the decommissioning of the NOAA Profiler Network (NPN), a gap remains in tropospheric wind observations, especially along our Nation’s heavily populated coastal regions, that will not be addressed by operational satellite observing systems. Each ARO includes a ¼-scale 449-MHz wind profiling radar that provides wind and temperature profiles every hour from near the surface up to ~8 km for winds and ~2 km for temperatures, depending on weather conditions. DOE and CA-DWR realize the importance of the observations provided by the wind profilers for weather monitoring and wind energy. The data will be provided publicly to NWS operational forecasters and other end users as well.
The bulk of the tasks related to procurement and construction of the wind profilers and other related observing equipment will occur at NOAA over the next year, with the goal of installations occurring by September 2015. A contract between PNNL and Scintec AG is already in place to provide some of the major components needed to construct the wind profilers. Site agreements for the installations are being pursued by PNNL.
Contact: Allen White