20-21 September Success - A weather station deployed!
Our two day deployment mission was a success!
Wednesday evening our team (Stephen, Jeremy, Michael and myself) familiarized ourselves with Jeremy's detailed task list for the next morning. Thursday was the big day when we would deploy meteorological instruments on the western side of the continental divide. The forecast was calling for cool wet temperatures, but alas, science does not wait for ideal weather!
The next morning we geared ourselves up for the field and made the beautiful drive through Kootenay National Park; on the way passing the sign demarcating the continental divide. Larch season was upon us, and the fall colours were vibrant, making the drive extra spectacular.
We arrived at Nipika Mountain Resort, our western site; located just outside the boundary of Kootenay National Park. I had to take a minute to take it all in, the views were grand! We introduced ourselves to the welcoming staff at Nipika Mountain Resort, who were enthusiastic about the experiment and then made our way to the field site. Not only was the site beautiful, but from a scientific perspective also very interesting; nestled in the valley with mountains running parallel on both sides in a somewhat North-South orientation, which add to the complex wind patterns and preferential snow precipitation deposition. It will be interesting to see the differences between the site at Nipika Mountain Resort and at Fortress Mountain!
Everyone was quick to get to work. Jeremy and Stephen setup the 3 m tripod where the instruments would be installed, while Andre and myself, with Michael's guidance worked on setting up the all-weather precipitation gauge.
Overall, the installation was efficient and well executed by the team members. The weather was much better than we were anticipating, and although there was some rain, it was shortly followed by some sunshine. At one point, we were working in our t-shirts!
We wrapped it up and headed back to Canmore and on the way were treated with a view of precipitation over the mountains.
The following day Stephen and Jeremy drove out to Nipika once again, to check up on the instruments and for a bit of troubleshooting. Everything went great, with all instruments recording properly. In fact, the precipitation gauge recorded 3 mm of precipitation over Thursday evening!
A big thank you to Nipika Mountain Resort for providing us with the space to install our instruments and run the SPADE campaign. Your generosity is most appreciated! The SPADE members are looking forward to the spring of 2019 - Bring on the storms!
- Juris Almonte