Tools of the Atmospheric Scientist

Lessons in Interpretation of Data

The accuracy and success of modern weather forecasting is dependent upon an endless stream of data collected by various weather instruments. Some instruments record conditions on or near the Earth's surface while others monitor upper levels of the atmosphere. Satellites orbiting our planet also play a key role in providing meteorologists with a top-down view of large scale weather systems and can aid in providing warning of approaching hurricanes. Since weather is the result of the interaction of many factors, we need data from many different instruments to help us better understand the dynamics of our ever-changing atmosphere. The lessons below are designed to introduce you to a few of the instruments used by scientists working with the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program (ARM) and to teach you how to begin to understand and interpret the data they produce.

Lesson #1 - Weather Balloons: The Balloon-Borne Sounding System



Lesson #2 - Vertical Cloud Profiling: The Millimeter Wave Cloud Radar



Lesson #3 - Surface Meteorological Observation System: SMOS



Lesson #4 - Measuring Solar Radiation: The Solar Infrared Radiation Station


Lesson #5 - Measuring Water Vapor: The Microwave Water Radiometer

Lesson #6 - Measuring Cloud Heights: The Micropulse Lidar

Lesson #7 - Measuring Wind Profiles: The Radar Wind Profiler

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