OAK RIDGE, Tenn. –– On the evening of July 22, the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society is sponsoring a presentation on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather station that is located at the UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge.
Have you ever wondered why the weather in East Tennessee can change so quickly? Did you know that the NOAA weather station monitors and collects thousands of files of weather data daily?
Leading the program will be Tilden Meyers, deputy director of the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of NOAA. A scientist with NOAA for nearly 28 years, Dr. Meyers has worked on issues related to acid deposition, air quality and climate change. Much of his research is focused on land-atmosphere interactions, particularly the role various land surface types (grasslands, forests and crops) play in both the water and carbon cycles and how these are affected by significant climatic events such as droughts and extreme temperature events.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Outdoor Shelter with Meyers speaking for about 15 minutes. With a full moon as a back drop, he will then walk participants to the weather station to talk about the actual equipment. The walk will take about 15 to 20 minutes and consists of an initial 1000 feet on a gravel drive followed by a stroll on a mowed area. The program will end between 8:30 – 9 p.m.
Because of the need for climate data in our area, the climate monitoring station at the UT Arboretum was installed in the summer of 2007. Criteria for long-term climate monitoring stations are critical for maintaining a climate record that minimizes biases in the temperature and precipitation records caused by local disturbances. The Arboretum offered several excellent locations for the equipment.
The system has the same instrumentation and station architecture as those used in NOAA’s national climate monitoring network (the U.S. Climate Reference network, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/). For critical observations of air temperature and precipitation, there are identical sensors on each system. This is necessary to eliminate biases and errors in the data. At this particular site, wind speed and wind direction at 10 m, along with incoming solar radiation, relative humidity and surface or “skin” temperature are also monitored. Also, soil moisture and soil temperature are observed at depths of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 cm. This information is important for monitoring soil water status and assessing drought impacts.
For more information on the weather station program call the Arboretum at 865-483-3571 or visit the UT Arboretum Society website http://utarboretumsociety.org/
The UT Arboretum is part of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, an outdoor demonstration and laboratory operated by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.
Melanie Staten, UT Arboretum Society, 865-776-8227
Kevin Hoyt, director of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum, 865-483-3571