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12 June, 2000

We're Finished Building

What a lovely day it is today. The temps by anyone else's standards would be freezing but here in Greenland, the cold is not too bad unless there is wind. It is dead still today. The temp is balmy at -19 degree C. This translates to about -5 degree F, but believe it or not, I only wore my fleece pants and fleece jacket and I stood outside most of the day. In fact, many of my tasks today involved some very dexterous maneuvers and I did not even wear gloves. The sun is intense though and lots of sun block is required.

Most of the day was spent completing our monitoring towers. We now have a total of 3, all in operation. The monitoring tower I worked on today has a series of 4 arms sticking out from a center pole. On the top arm is a sonic ranger. This instrument measures changes in surface height. It is parcticularly important in measuring snow accumulation, parcticularly in the winter.

The second arm (at 2.5 meters from the surface) has a series of three anemometers. An anemometer measures wind speed. There are three so we can calibrate the accuracy of each. Later, we will place one one each arm to make wind speed calculations at different altitudes (.5 meters, 1 meter, 2.5 meters). In addition, there is a wind vane on this arm.

On the 3rd arm (1 meter off the ground), there are 3 temperature/relative humidity sensors. These sensors have a small fan that circulates airflow through the machine.

The last arm (.5 meters off the ground) holds 3 air temperature sensors and a surface temperature sensor. We also have a barometric pressure sensor on the pole. In 24 hours, once we tweak the small computer problems that may be caused by electrical connection changes due to weather, we will move each of these instruments to their respective arms and the data collection will begin.

I hope this weather continues but my limited meteorology background of this area make me predict that a change is about to occur. The clouds are getting thicker in the southwest which usually indicates an approaching storm. If it is nice, maybe I'll run in shorts on the runway tomorrow. Just kidding, but I did find a workout tent that has some weights and a spinning bike. Nick, Koni's graduate student and my co-worker, says he's making a New Year's resolution and he's going to begin to workout with me. That will be fun. Nick is great.

Ciao, Cathi

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