University Weather Research Station

In operation for over 30 years serving the Alberta community

One of the most important services provided by the Department of Geography is the servicing and maintenance of the University Weather Research Station housed in a separate building located on the west side of the campus. It has been in operation since the mid-1960s and has continued to grow in its function. It started off as a small roped off area with a few manually-read instruments, and has progressed through five generations of data gathering equipment into its present state. Today the station collects and stores almost a million bytes of raw data every day, 365 days a year. These data include twice daily manual observations of cloud cover, present and past weather conditions, visibility, precipitation, evaporation, ground condition and snow depth. Also recorded are one-minute values of seven depths of soil temperature, two levels of air temperature and relative humidity, three levels of wind data, incoming and outgoing short wave radiation, ground heat flux, soil moisture, pressure and precipitation, and in conjunction with the International Daylight study, one minute values of direct sun radiation, global irradiance and illuminance, direct and diffuse horizontal illuminance and irradiance.

In addition, the Weather Research Station has a wide selection of other equipment used for special research projects and field work including radiosonde equipment, nuclear soil moisture probe, snow and soil sampling equipment and hydrology equipment.

The station provides a hands on teaching facility for students in an out of the university community, and provides processed data to everyone from the Atmospheric Environment Service to the general public. These data may vary from the present atmospheric pressure to climatological and meteorological maps and charts used in forecasting and scientific studies.