CW3E Field Team Installs New Meteorological Stations Ahead of WY2021

November 25, 2020

The CW3E Field Team installed two new observation sites and added additional instrumentation and performed maintenance on existing stations in the Yuba watershed between August-November 2020. The two new sites installed are soil meteorology (SMOIL) stations: North Star Meadow (NSM) and Lower Bath House (LBH). The sites are located near Strawberry Valley, CA and at San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus near Bassetts, CA, respectively. These are two regions of the watershed previously lacking soil moisture observational data and add to the four existing CW3E stations installed for the Yuba-Feather Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) project,which researches opportunities at Lake Oroville and New Bullards Bar reservoir to improve reservoir operations and reduce flood risks by improving weather and runoff forecasts.

When conditions permit at the end of the winter season, a disdrometer will be installed at LBH to better observe the precipitation phase and understand the rain-snow transition during impactful atmospheric rivers (ARs) in the Sierra Nevada. Real-time communications will also be added at both new sites and data will be disseminated on CW3E’s website as well as MesoWest, NOAA HMT, and CDEC. The field team was also able to install GPS and conduct maintenance work at other CW3E sites in the Yuba to support Yuba/Feather FIRO activities before the wet season began. For more information on FIRO, visit the FIRO web page.

CW3E would especially like to thank SFSU’s Sierra Field Campus for their help and collaboration on the installation of LBH. We look forward to our continued partnership!

Figure 1: CW3E newest SMOIL stations: North Star Meadow (NSM) (left) near Strawberry Valley, CA on a smoke-free day in October, and Lower Bath House (LBH) (right) after the first snow of the season on 18 November.

Figure 2: Installation and maintenance of new and existing stations in the Yuba Watershed by CW3E Field Researchers. Top, From Left: Ava Cooper installs GPS at DLA; Carly Ellis digs a soil pit at NSM; Kerstin Paulsson digs hole for precip pole at LBH. Bottom, from Left: Kerstin Paulsson digs a trench for electrical at LBH; Ava Cooper connects soil sensors to the datalogger at NSM; Ava Cooper tests sensor connection at DLA; Kerstin Paulsson and Carly Ellis install GPS at NBB.