Team set to upgrade weather station on Mt. McKinley

06/09/04

Obtaining weather data from North America's highest peak is no easy task. The Mt. McKinley weather station provides precise information on some of the harshest conditions found on the globe. That is, until last summer when an electronics failure ceased the transmission of data. In order to fix the problem, and continue the flow of information, a small team from the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) and the Geophysical Institute (GI) will begin scaling Mt. McKinley on June 15 to make the needed repairs.

The improved weather station will measure relative humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed from an outcrop just south of Denali Pass, which is located at an elevation of nearly 19,000 feet. Once the equipment is in place, the station will transmit data from these sensors back to IARC every 30 minutes. The weather updates will be posted on the Internet and available worldwide.

This is the third trip up Mt. McKinley for IARC's Tohru Saito. This year he hopes to help install the station and then climb past it to the summit, located at an elevation of 20,320 feet. Kevin Abnett, GI Electronics Shop Supervisor, designed and built the improved weather instruments and will help transport them up the mountain. Shosaku Kanamori, a graduate student of glaciology from Hokkaido University, will accompany Abnett and Saito on the trip, along with Japanese mountaineer Yoshitomi Okura and climbers from the Japan Alpine Club.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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