In late January, meteorologists from a dozen major news markets across the country gathered in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for an annual event called the “Weather Summit” where they received a preview of the Storm Peak Lab Cloud Property Validation Experiment, or STORMVEX, field campaign scheduled to begin next fall. Meanwhile, down the hall, the STORMVEX science team reviewed the status of the campaign components thus far, discussed remaining instrument issues, and made assignments to complete a science and operations plan for the campaign. The timing of the two meetings at the same venue provided an opportunity for ARM to initiate outreach for the STORMVEX campaign, which represents the first deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility, or AMF2.
Steamboat Springs Ski Resort has sponsored the week-long Weather Summit each January for the last 21 years as a way to improve communications about weather and climate through information sharing between scientists and the news media. This year, they invited ARM to participate as a guest speaker to talk about the U.S. Department of Energy’s role in climate change research and provide some context for the STORMVEX campaign. Dr. Ashley Williamson, co-manager of the DOE Atmospheric System Research program, spoke to a very attentive audience on the second day of the event; other guest speakers covered a variety of climate related topics throughout the week.
As part of their campaign review, the STORMVEX science team confirmed various site selections for the AMF2 instruments at several locations in the Steamboat area. Since the original proposal, additional aerosol instruments, precipitation sensors, and radiometers have been added to the measurement suite. Instrument sites now include the valley floor, Thunderhead Lodge, Christie Peak, and Elkhead chairlift. The team also visited Storm Peak Lab for a tour of new instrumentation there and a preview to upgrades that will come over the next six months.