Weather Stations

Weather Station Data

Restoration site around Upper Lake/Project Stream

Forest Stand on Prospect Hill: Deciduous

Forest Stand on Prospect Hill: Hemlock

Field above Ham/McGregor parking: Partially Open

The roof of the Library: Clapp Lab-Library

Weather Station Microclimates

Differences in climate within small geographic areas or even between the top and bottom of a leaf are important to a variety of organisms. For instance, deer on the Mount Holyoke campus use a White Pine stand as a wintering rest and sleep area, because the evergreen cover buffers wind and extremes in daily temperatures. To investigate differences in microclimate due to differences in forest cover, three new weather stations have been installed on the Mount Holyoke campus. These stations are among the stops in the MWCE’s Curricular Trail. All three stations are located on Prospect Hill. The first weather station is in an open field on the North side of Prospect Hill. The second station is in a hemlock stand on the west side of Prospect Hill. The third weather station is near the top of Prospect Hill in a deciduous stand that includes maple, birch and oak trees. In addition to the weather stations described here, Environmental Studies runs a weather station on the top of Clapp.

Weather Station Locations

Overhead photo of the location of weather stations on campus

Data from these weather stations are used in both class lab projects and group projects, and by students doing independent or thesis work on campus. We expect to find differences in microclimate due to variations in the ability of various types of vegetation to hold heat and buffer wind. In addition, the Hemlock stand is currently in decline due to an infestation by the Whooly Adelgid. As the Hemlock stand declines, we expect to see changes in the microclimate within that stand.

Weather Station Instruments

The weather stations are the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro. They record a variety of parameters including the following- barometric pressure, evapotranspiration, outside humidity, dew point, rainfall (daily, storm, monthly, yearly), rain rate, solar radiation, outside temperature, heat index, UV index, UV dose, wind direction, wind speed, and wind chill.

The stations collect data every ten minutes using a cable that links the Vantage Pro console to the Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS). The ISS unit has the following components: Rain collector, Anemometer vane, Wind cups, UV and solar radiation sensors.

A work-study student downloads the data from the each weather station once a week by visiting the site, removing the debris from the rain collector and taking the consoles back to the CE where the data is moved from the console to a desktop computer. Once the data is downloaded it is permanently removed from the console. When the console is disconnected from the ISS it continues to collect data as long as the console is within approximately ten meters from the ISS. Each time the console is taken back to the CE, approximately twenty to thirty minutes of data are lost.

Photo of the data logger in the Hemlock stand

Data logger in the Hemlock Stand

Photo of the Open Site Davis weather station

Davis weather station in the open site

Photo of the HOBO weather station in the open site

HOBO station at the open site

Data collection history

  • Data from 2002 to 2010 were collected with the Vantage Pro2 Davis stations.
  • Data since May, 2010 were collected with HOBO stations.

Credits

Peter Houlihan - data collection in 2002-2003
Leszek A. Bledzki – data collection in 2004-2017