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NOAA plans wind profiler array.

Wind patterns over the United States are currently measured twice a day by the release of helium-filled balloons at 70 sites. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is planning to install by 1989 a network of 30 very sensitive Doppler radar stations in the Midwest that will be able to monitor wind profiles as often as every half hour.

The ground-based wind profilers willmeasure windspeed and direction at altitudes up to 10 miles. NOAA hopes eventually to add microwave radiometrs to the array to measure upper-air temperatures and humidity.

According to David Small, head of the Profiler Project Office at NOAA in Boulder, Colo., the Midwest was chosen because it has many severe storms, is the region in which the National Weather Service will be testing other advanced systems and has no mountains to complicate wind flow patterns. In addition to providing a data base for weather modelers, the profilers will help pilots choose routes to economize on fuel and will aid scientists studying chemical spills and acid rain, he says.
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Title Annotation:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 21, 1985
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