Meterology on the Move … Doppler On Wheels

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Talk about cool stuff—the Florida Doppler on Wheels (DOW) experiment and Weather Study (F-DEWS) came to Florida Tech, and we got to spend 12 days participating in cool research. More than 30 undergraduate and graduate students from Meteorology, Environmental Science, Aeronautical Science and Physics/Space Sciences were trained on the Doppler on Wheels radar. Each day began at 8 a.m. with two students (one graduate, one undergraduate) visiting the Melbourne National Weather Service for a one-hour briefing. The briefings featured a discussion of the weather for that day, including sea and lagoon breezes, thunderstorms, coastal showers and lightning probabilities. Following the NWS briefing, the two students filled out a worksheet and returned to FIT to debrief the whole team. The worksheet was posted along with a mission status (go, no-go) and, if the mission was deemed a go, a tentative time was set for deployment. Students were then divided into teams that included balloon launch, precipitation, DOW radar and electric field meter. Thunderstorms were our primary target. We managed to catch six storms across the 12-day DOW visit. It was amazing!

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