Swapping Science with Korean Researchers

Published: 23 August 2012
Commemorating the visit to the ARM Southern Great Plains site are (left of sign) John Schatz, SGP site operations manager, with Dr. Gyuwon Lee and daughter Sueha Lee; and (right of sign) Dr. Yeon-Hee Kim; Doug Sisterson, SGP site manager; Dr. Seungsook Shin; and Dr. Kwan-Young Chung.

In Korea, typhoons and heavy rainfall/snowfall often result in serious socio-economic consequences. To enhance their ability to predict and mitigate the damage from these severe weather phenomena, the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) is developing a three-dimensional network of ARM-like supersites for observing clouds, water vapor, and other meteorological components. On August 1, Dr. Kwan-Young Chung, Director of the Forecast Research Laboratory at the KMA’s National Institute of Meteorological Research, and scientific colleagues visited ARM’s Southern Great Plains site to discuss their efforts in Korea and to observe SGP’s operation and maintenance processes.

Their visit began with a presentation by Chung on the status and goals of the three KMA supersites, which include instrument rosters comparable to ARM sites.

  • The Boseong observatory, operating since 2003 at the National Center for Intensive Observation of Severe Weather at Haenam, was relocated and became a supersite in April 2010.
  • Another supersite, located in Seoul, will collect data in and around the metropolitan area, which has more than 10 million residents. (See this ARM Feature Article about a previous visit related to the Seoul supersite.)
  • A third site, located in Changwon, will function primarily as a meteorological observatory.
The Korean Meteorological Administration is establishing three ARM-like observation sites to improve their ability to predict exteme weather.

After Chung’s presentation, he joined his colleagues and SGP staff in discussing various aspects of daily and long-term operations, methodologies, and opportunities for future collaborations. The Korean researchers were particularly interested to hear about ARM’s value-added data products, the measurements used to develop them, where to access them, and how they are being used. They were also struck by the great measures ARM staff take to ensure data quality.

They then braved record-breaking 114°F heat for a tour of the SGP Central Facility, led by site manager Doug Sisterson, who along the way explained the ARM philosophy for hiring and training technical staff from the local community. The visitors were very impressed with the skills acquired by the SGP site technicians.