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The Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX) and upcoming webinar

Many of you contributed data during the GPM-GLOBE Precipitation Field Campaign earlier this year.  Here's an opportunity to learn about an upcoming scientific field campaign, upon which our student field campaign was modeled. 

The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX, is a NASA-led field campaign, which will take place on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from November 2015 through February 2016. The goal of the campaign is to collect detailed atmospheric measurements that will be used to evaluate how well rain-observing satellites measure rainfall and snowfall from space. In particular, OLYMPEX will be assessing satellite measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory, a joint mission by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2014.

The Olympic Peninsula is an ideal location to conduct a ground validation field campaign. Situated in the northwest corner of Washington State, the peninsula is home of the only temperate rain forest in the Northern Hemisphere. Its active winter storm season consists of wet weather systems traveling from the Pacific Ocean, over the coastal region and into the Olympic Mountains. The peninsula reliably receives annual precipitation amounts ranging from over 100 inches (2500 mm) on the coast to about 180 inches (4500 mm) in the forested mountainous interior.

Teams of scientists have set up ground instruments including rain gauges, advanced weather radars, and balloon launching sites to monitor incoming storms. Simultaneously, they will collect data from three aircraft flying through and above rain clouds, as well as from the GPM Core Observatory and other rain-observing partner satellites when they pass overhead.

Left: Rain gauges and soil moisture sensors deployed in Iowa during IFloodS. Credit: Iowa Flood Center Middle: NASA’s ER-2 aircraft ready to deploy during IPHEx in North Carolina. Credit: NASA Right: NASA’s NPOL radar, one of two fully transportable research-grade S-band radars in the world. Credit: NASA

Scientists will then use the detailed data sets to improve their understanding of the processes in the atmosphere that cause precipitation and to improve the computer programs that interpret satellite measurements of rainfall and snowfall from space.

To read more from the original source of this article, and for educational resources associated with the campaign, visit GPM's Precipitation Education OLYMPEX page. For a detailed map of the ground stations, including near real time data, visit the University of Washington's OLYMPEX page.

You can also join us on October 20th at 3:30 PDT/6:30 EDT for a webinar for educators about the Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX), a ground validation field campaign for NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. During the webinar, Dr. Lynn McMurdie of the University of Washington, Project Manager and Senior Research Scientist for OLYMPEX, will discuss the specific scientific purposes of the project and why the Olympic Peninsula is a particularly significant locale for studying rain and snow, as well as detail the tools and equipment used for measurements during the campaign. Additionally, Kristen Weaver (me!), an Education Specialist for the GPM mission, will outline educational resources available to help your students learn about the campaign and the scientific work being done. Click here to register for the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and an archive made available afterward. Please fill out the registration form if you would like to ensure you receive the link to the recording, even if you will be unable to attend live.

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[...] GPM's ground validation campaign called OLYMPEX is in full swing! (See my earlier blog post for more background about the campaign.) You can visit the OLYMPEX website to see daily precipitation... [...] Read More
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