Measuring ARTSE2017: Results from Wyoming and New York

Jennifer Fowler Montana Space Grant Consortium, Missoula, Montana

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Junhong Wang University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Deborah Ross Montana Space Grant Consortium, Missoula, Montana

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Thomas Colligan University of Montana, Missoula, Montana

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Jaxen Godfrey Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

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Abstract

The 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse was the first total eclipse on the mainland of the United States since 1979. The Atmospheric Responses of 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (ARTSE2017) project was created to observe the response of the atmosphere to the shadow of the moon. During the eclipse, 10 sites launched radiosondes in a very rapid, serial weather balloon deployment along the totality path, and high-resolution mesoscale meteorological network (mesonet) data were collected in three states. Here, we focus on the results obtained from the radiosonde field campaign in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and the New York State Mesonet (NYSM). In Fort Laramie, 36 people from 13 institutions flew 19 radiosondes and launched 5 large balloons carrying video payloads before, during, and after the eclipse while continuously recording surface weather data. Preliminary analysis of the radiosonde data provided inconclusive evidence of eclipse-driven gravity waves but showed that the short duration of darkness during totality was enough to alter boundary layer (BL) height, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, substantially. The statewide impact of the partial eclipse in New York State (NYS) was observed for solar radiation, surface temperature, surface wind, and surface-layer lapse rate using NYSM data. Importantly, the radiosonde and mesonet data collected during the eclipse will be available for public access. ARTSE2017 also focused on education, including students from all demographics (undergraduate and K–12) and the general public. Finally, we summarize goals accomplished from leveraging resources for education, research, and workforce development on undergraduate students from a variety of fields.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Jennifer Fowler, jennifer.fowler@umontana.edu

Abstract

The 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse was the first total eclipse on the mainland of the United States since 1979. The Atmospheric Responses of 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (ARTSE2017) project was created to observe the response of the atmosphere to the shadow of the moon. During the eclipse, 10 sites launched radiosondes in a very rapid, serial weather balloon deployment along the totality path, and high-resolution mesoscale meteorological network (mesonet) data were collected in three states. Here, we focus on the results obtained from the radiosonde field campaign in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and the New York State Mesonet (NYSM). In Fort Laramie, 36 people from 13 institutions flew 19 radiosondes and launched 5 large balloons carrying video payloads before, during, and after the eclipse while continuously recording surface weather data. Preliminary analysis of the radiosonde data provided inconclusive evidence of eclipse-driven gravity waves but showed that the short duration of darkness during totality was enough to alter boundary layer (BL) height, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, substantially. The statewide impact of the partial eclipse in New York State (NYS) was observed for solar radiation, surface temperature, surface wind, and surface-layer lapse rate using NYSM data. Importantly, the radiosonde and mesonet data collected during the eclipse will be available for public access. ARTSE2017 also focused on education, including students from all demographics (undergraduate and K–12) and the general public. Finally, we summarize goals accomplished from leveraging resources for education, research, and workforce development on undergraduate students from a variety of fields.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Jennifer Fowler, jennifer.fowler@umontana.edu
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