Checking up on the precipitation gauges
Nothing was expected over the SPADE region, so Jeremy and I took advantage of the quiet Sunday to collect the data from the tipping bucket rain gauges (provided by FLNRORD) and to check up on Nipika.
Neither of us had been down the transect previously, but with a handheld GPS and guidance provided by Selina and Stephen, we were able to find all three sites. Unfortunately, precipitation gauge 1, the closest site to the continental divide and Fortress Mountain was found dangling on its cord (see pictures below).
Thankfully, no damage was done to the unit, but we suspect that high winds were the issue, given the exposure to katabatic winds from the mountains. Jeremy had also noticed that the guy wires were loose, adding to our suspicion of high winds. Moreover, no signs of a bear were found close to the site. We downloaded the data, which showed several tips on the 24th and 25th. Jeremy took a look at the data and suspects the gauge came down on the 25th. We made sure to test the gauge prior to our departure. After an excessive amount of manual tips, we decided it was still functioning properly.
The gauge platform was reinforced with a second bracket and levelled. No snow was observed in the area, in the creek nearby, or in the narrow avalanche chute. Across the creek, however, we did see some remnant snow in the shade.
The remaining two sites were both in great condition. Again, no signs of bears and all data were downloaded. Both sites also recorded precipitation on May 24 and 25, with May 25 being the higher precipitation event. Overall the drive was stunning, with a few quick photo stops along the way.
Following the work along the rain gauge transect, we stopped in at Nipika for a site visit. Data downloads were conducted and some general tidy up was done. This included changing the solar panel system grounding setup, which is buried directly underground. Looking over the most recent data, we noticed the Geonor had been repeating the same measurements for the past few days. Thankfully no precipitation was recorded by the MRR or disdrometer, and with a quick logger reset the Geonor started logging as intended. Further investigations are to be undertaken to determine and remediate the cause of error.
-Juris & Jeremy
Field Participants: Juris Almonte & Jeremy Morris