Some of the first questions for most people venturing outdoors in Alaska are: how hard is the wind blowing? When will it start to rain?
Weather stations in Prince William Sound provide accurate real-time data on winds, temperatures and precipitation. These data are used as part of a new weather forecasting system for the Sound.
SNOTEL Stations: More than Snow
Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations were set up in the western states in the 1970s by the National Resources Conservation Service to measure precipitation from snow and rain and to feed drought predictions. As of 2007, Alaska had more than 50 SNOTEL stations.
Each automated station measures:
- Wind speed and direction
- Air temperature
- Air pressure
- Precipitation from rain + snow
- Solar radiation