The summit of Mauna Kea is arguably the best site on Earth for astronomical observations and the capital investment in telescopes on Mauna Kea has exceeded 600 million. The success of astronomical observations on Mauna Kea is strongly influenced by weather conditions. During prevailing clear periods, astronomical observing quality varies substantially due to changes in the vertical profiles of temperature, wind, moisture, and turbulence. Cloud and storm systems occasionally cause adverse or even hazardous conditions. To facilitate the best possible use of good atmospheric conditions and to support operation safety on the 4200-m mountain summit, a new interdisciplinary research program has been initiated that provides custom weather forecasts/nowcasts and meteorological data to the Mauna Kea Observatories. An operational mesoscale numerical modeling effort provides crucial forecast guidance for astronomical image quality, or seeing, during prevalent fair weather and for adverse weather. Of the existing telescopes on Mauna Kea, several commonly have multiple instruments or detectors mounted simultaneously, increasing the observational choices and thereby also increasing the utility of the custom weather forecast products provided by the newly established Mauna Kea Weather Center. Summit temperature forecasts allow mirrors to be set to the ambient temperature to reduce image degradation. Precipitable water forecasts allow infrared and submillimeter observations to be prioritized according to atmospheric opacity. Forecasts of adverse weather protect the safety of personnel, mitigate the hazard to telescope facilities, and allow for scheduling of maintenance when observing is impaired by cloud. This paper provides an overview of the unique forecast requirements and challenges faced by Mauna Kea weather forecasters. Progress toward meeting these challenges and opportunities for future research are discussed.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 8, 2002
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera