Colorado Mountain College Builds Leadville Weather Station
How’s the weather?
This is a question the Timberline Campus in Leadville will now be able to answer. With the help of numerous students, staff, and faculty the campus weather station is up and running.
In September 2013, the Timberline Campus began a partnership with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Pueblo to become a cooperative (COOP) observer. This partnership includes daily morning weather observations for rain/snowfall, snow depth, and weekly snow water equivalent sampling .
This partnership spurred talks with Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), Colorado State University (CSU), the State Climatologist’s Office, and Campbell Scientific about installing a research-grade, real-time weather station on the Timberline Campus.
In spring 2014, the Timberline Campus purchased the meteorological equipment and received towering and supports from the CAIC. In September 2014, students from two CMC chainsaw classes removed trees for the footprint of the weather station. In October, Ski Area Operations heavy equipment class excavated a trench for the communication line.
A second trench was excavated to bury communication and grounding wires from the separate precipitation gauge to the weather station tower. Heavy Equipment class also backfilled the trenches and removed tree stumps from the site. The project was completed with numerous hours from several departments and student work study to complete installation and to make the data available online.
The weather station will be collecting temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and solar-charged battery voltage. The datalogger will also calculate additional readings such as wet bulb and dew point temperatures, wind chill, and more. Power for the weather station comes from a 10-watt solar panel and battery. Locating the weather station adjacent to our COOP weather observations (an uncommon occurrence) will allow students to compare automated weather monitoring with human-collected observations along with understanding the principles and methodologies of both processes.
Real-time weather data will be available soon from several sources online including CMC and CAIC, and others. More pictures from the installation of the weather station are available on the Colorado Mountain College Natural Resource Management (CMC NRM) Instagram page at www.instagram.com/cmcnrm.
Thank you to everyone that made this exciting project a success and excellent opportunity for our current and future students.
If you are interested in participating in morning weather observations please contact David Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or other Natural Resource Management staff.