For the next six weeks, University of Washington scientists from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will work with NASA to study precipitation in one of the rainiest parts of the country, during one of its rainiest seasons. With high-tech weather radars, weather balloons, ground instruments and NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory, scientists working on the OLYMPEX project will watch rain and snow storms on Washington’s famously wet Olympic Peninsula.

The project’s goal is to calibrate measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, which promises a next-generation view of rain and snow around the planet. The Olympic Peninsula is one of the few rainforests in the world located outside the tropics.

Scientists and UW graduate students have spent the fall placing storm-tracking equipment on the ground. The same topography and unique climate that made it a natural laboratory for the experiment have earned much of the area status as a national park. The team has carried equipment in by truck, by foot and even by mule.

Now the scientific storm-watchers hope Mother Nature will deliver some good material in the weeks to come.

Read more at UW Today »