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Snow-Level Radar

By Simon Pierpont; Features Editor
On November 3, 2016

Snow-Level Radar 

Simon Pierpont

Features Editor 

Whether you are a snow enthusiast or not, there is no debate as to the beauty that the winter holds for us here at Plymouth State University. Every year, it’s a guessing game when it comes to how our snowfall will vary in depth. A little known part of Plymouth State is the Snow-Level Radar that sits just outside Grafton Hall, and serves to detect the level in the atmosphere where snow turns into rain. This radar helps with mountain hydrology and can be used to determine the amount of runoff a basin will get. The conditions of each spring will be based on the amount of snow that fell during that winter. It will aid in predicting when flooding may occur. It can also be used to help narrow down which roads will need to be plowed and salted first during snowstorms.

In order to determine the snow level, the radar transmits a Doppler velocity spectrum once every thirty seconds that judges the radar reflectivity, Doppler vertical velocity, and spectral width starting at 40 meters above the Earth’s service continuing up to 10,000 meters above.

At this point you might be asking why Plymouth State is the home for this particular Snow-Level Radar. It finds its home here in Plymouth; both as a tool to help students further understand the science behind Snow-Level Radar implementation, but also because the climate in Plymouth provides liquid and frozen precipitation.

The SLR is constantly retrieving data year round and stands as another unique amenity here at Plymouth State. 

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