Pohnpei Weather Service Office visit by physical science class

On the day of the summer solstice in Micronesia, 21 June, the SC 130 Physical Science class most appropriately visited the weather service office in Kolonia.

The visit led off with a brief introduction to the operations center and some of the many roles the station plays. The station, in coordination with the weather service offices on Guam, provides weather information, tide, flash flood watches and warnings, storm watches and warnings, and a number of other services. They also translate critically important weather bulletins into the local language.

Marsha, Hansha, Shirley-Ann, and John listen to the presentation


The 10:00 local time launch of the LMS-6 radiosonde is imminent. Around the world radiosonde's are launched at the same universal time.


The balloon is filled with hydrogen


Getting into position with the radiosonde downwind of the balloon


The balloon will ascend to roughly 10,000 meters


The class shelters from the sun next to the balloon tracking station


Balloon released

Balloon on ascent

Balloon climbing

Pressure, temperature, relative humidity data is relayed by radio signal back to the ground. The tracking station tracks the direction and calculates the distance to the radiosonde to obtain wind speed data aloft.


 Balloon with radiosonde

Marlinda takes notes

Neikaman poses as Marlinda takes notes behind Sucy-Ann

Neikaman

Rain gauge

Inside is a clear plastic cylinder

0.09 inches of rain this morning

Sucy-Ann, Preston, Gino, Neikaman

Digital recording rain gauge relied upon more often during exceptionally heavy rainfall

Cabling connects the unit to the operations center

Min and max thermometers

Dry bulb on the left, wet bulb on the right

The min and max thermometers had to be vibrationally isolated from the blower fan used to drive air over the wet bulb thermometer. The vibration was yielding lower minimum values than the actual minimum temperature

Blower motor switch

New cement pad for the min and max thermometers

The NOAA is one of many service the United States provides to the Federated States of Micronesia

US President Barack H. Obama

Data from the rising weather balloon radiosonde unit

Atmospheric profile from the radiosonde: temperature, pressure, and humidity data

Station air pressure reading

Hansha, Jason, Marsha, Sucy-ann, Shirely-Ann, Neikaman, John, Marmelyn

As always, the class owes a debt of gratitude to the Pohnpei National Weather Service office for their time and hospitality! Nothing makes dry concepts and numbers come to life better than a field trip to a place where those variables and data make a difference in peoples lives.

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