Sierra Turbulence Study

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

A scientist at the Reno-based Desert Research Institute is leading a nine million dollar research project studying wind patterns and air turbulence that pose dangers to aircraft along the Sierra Nevada.
More than 60 scientists from around the world are converging on
Owens Valley, California to gather new data for the project led by
Vanda Grubisic, an associate research professor in DRI's
Atmospheric Sciences Division.
The National Science Foundation is providing major funding for
the research, intended to help forecasters and pilots better
understand treacherous whirlwinds known as rotors.
The research project is the second phase of an effort to explore
the structure and evolution of atmospheric rotors and related
phenomena in complex terrain.
The initial phase, which took place in Owens Valley in March and
April 2004, suggested that rotors are strongly linked to both the
structure and evolution of overlying mountain waves and the
underlying boundary layer.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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