York’s weather station gets an upgrade

EMOS York’s Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering (ESSE) has upgraded its EMOS weather station, which is now back online gathering real time data for the department’s weather Web site.

The latest addition to the station’s equipment package is a four- component radiometer measuring solar and long-wave radiation components. The humidity sensor on the three-year-old facility was also replaced.

Left: EMOS sits in front of the Tait McKenzie Centre gathering weather data

The EMOS weather station, which is located on a traffic island on the north side of the Tait McKenzie Centre, was initially installed during May 2002 at a cost of about $10,000 and started providing data to faculty researchers and students through the departmental Web site on June 1, 2002. Peter Taylor, ESSE professor, said the instrument not only provides live data that students can process for their course work but also gives faculty members important meterological information for their work in atmospheric chemistry.

The station also helped University staff make a decision against locating a wind turbine on campus, where energy-efficiency is an important concern. “There were some serious discussions about it,” said Taylor, “but we were able to show that York is not a good site for a wind turbine.”

Peter TaylorThe station is based on a 10-metre tower and collects averaged data on wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity, four radiation components, precipitation amounts and soil temperature. Averages of these parameters are transmitted at 10-minute intervals and displayed on the Earth and Atmospheric Science Web site.

Right: Peter Taylor

A solar panel provides power to the sensor array and the new data logger, which collects information from the instruments that is then used by a computer located in the Petrie Science Building to automatically update the Web site. At the end of every day (GMT), the file containing all information is stored on the site’s archive, which contains records dating from June 1, 2002.


Left: Graduate student Sergiy Savelyev (in hat) works on EMOS with undergraduate students during its installation in 2002

The operation of the Web site has been managed by Ping-Yiu Li, research associate with ESSE, and Mark Schuster, graduate student with the Centre for Research on Earth and Space Science (CRESS). Sergiy Savelyev, a graduate student at CRESS, wrote the data logger programmes and maintains the instrumentation. Undergraduate students installed, and helped service the station, with a little help from graduate students and faculty.

For more information on the weather station and the data archives, visit ESSE’s EMOS Web site.