Since operations have ended it’s now time to look back on some of the more interesting cases we’ve studied! The other night we woke up at 2am to head to the Orange site to fly our TLS. We were hoping to catch the transition to southwest winds with the possibility of catching a turbine wake.
However, the wind was very still for much of the night, so it was a good opportunity to try out long-exposure settings on our cameras!
Eventually we caught the southwest winds around 7 am and may have caught the wake around 9:30 am! The timing was a surprise to us as light convective activity would have usually started by then, making it much harder to see the wakes and waves. However, the convection was somewhat mitigated by a thick fog layer that came from down the valley and lingered for a long time. (lidar image from DLR)
The sun eventually came out over the ridge which brought an end to the nice stratification and so-called “golden night” in the valley.
We packed up our gear around noon and spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool as a well-earned rest!
Keep your eyes glued to your screens as we begin to make our final posts!
Today is the last day of the IOP, so we will stop taking measurements and start packing up our equipment. Today we also learned the importance of having wonderful friends with a truck who will help drive a lidar up the hill and even ride in the back with it 🙂
This morning we flew the TLS during the morning transition (5 to 9 am!) and successfully sampled a turbine wake! More on that later…
During past morning operations we noticed that the normally tan field of grass surrounding us becomes speckled with brilliant yellows as the sun awakens the flowers. So today I attempted a time-lapse of said flowers blooming. A 10-m meteorological tower is visible in the background, and the shadow of the TLS even makes an appearance… 🙂
This past weekend Nicola, Patrick, Ludovic, and I with Robert and Ed (from the Army Research Lab) teamed up to help Norman (from the German Aerospace Center, DLR) “rearrange” DLR’s lidars so that they would be in better position to take measurements of the winds in the valley.
Both lidars are Leosphere Windcube 200S models, which means they are able to take awesome 3-D scans of the wind with a scanning laser, but happen to weigh over 500 lbs and have a price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars!
This meant it took all 7 of us to help load lidar 1 onto the truck, drive it over to lidar 2’s site, unload and set up lidar 1, load lidar 2 onto the truck, then finally drive back to the original spot and unload and set up lidar 2.
Ed, Ludovic, and Norman contemplate the move
Robert and Ed detach the lidar from its post
I took a quick time-lapse that shows us removing lidar 1 and putting lidar 2 in its spot. No lidars were harmed in the process, and they are streaming great data that can be viewed here!
Last Friday our Perdigão site was visited by the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor (shown below to the right of José Palma). He was very interested in the work we all do here and went around the room asking each of us where we were from and how we contribute to the project. It was great to meet him!
On June 2, we flew our TLS from 2:30am to 12:00pm to catch the morning transition. We also saw some southwesterly wind, with very interesting wave-like features!
Waking up at that time, however, wasn’t really easy…
Our Perdigão project has recently been subject of some important articles!
Among the others, we point out this very nice overview published on EOS, a journal by AGU: Monitoring Wind in Portugal’s Mountains Down to Microscales
and this article by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded a considerable part of the field campaign: Atmospheric scientists conduct field experiment to study wind flow over complex mountain terrain.
A picture of our TLS and the the Perdigão wind turbine. This photo, taken by Ludovic, was selected as main picture for the EOS article!
Last week a few thunderstorms over the region of our field campaign reduced our opportunities to fly the TLS. So, one day Jessica and I went to visit Salamanca, Spain!
Welcome to Spain!
A view of the city of Salamanca from the Roman bridge
The city is just gorgeous. It lies on several hills by the Tormes River, and its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Its most impressive building is the Cathedral of Salamanca, which is actually composed by two different cathedrals: the Old Cathedral, of the 12th century and of Romanesque style, and the New Cathedral, much larger, built in the 16th century of Gothic style and completed in the 18th century.
Bell in the Ieronimus tower
The city is also famous for its University, which was founded in 1218, and it is the oldest university in Spain and the fourth oldest western university.
View of the Old City
Time to go back to science now!
Here at Perdigão there’s a wind turbine on the top of one of the ridges. A few days ago, Tina (we miss you!), Jessica and I hiked up there.
On the way up, we met a few of the 49 met towers deployed for the campaign.
The wind turbine was really huge, and its sound was impressive. While we were visiting, it yawed towards our direction, it was very kind. 🙂
If you are here, you should definitely go up there, the view of the whole valley is amazing, and you can really see the two parallel ridges which make this place so special for our scientific goals.
I am sure more pictures of our hike can be found on Jessica’s social networks, as this backstage of a selfie suggests! 🙂
The Perdigão campaign is taking place in a very rural area of Portugal (see the map on the right!). We are surrounded by tiny communities, and we are trying to meet as many people as possible, listening to all their amazing life-stories – although our Portuguese is often still not adequate. 🙂
Our TLS flies close to the village of Vale Cobrão, where 13 (thirteen!!) people live. Some of them love sitting in the streets every evening waiting for our flights, which have become a nice attraction here!
A few days ago we were hosted for a tea by Felicity, a Scottish woman who has been living in Vale Cobrão for four years now.
She has been traveling a lot during her (working) life: in just an hour and half we talked about some of her experiences in Mozambique, India, China (where her daughter currently lives), Kenya – and I am sure I am forgetting some more!
Rosie is Felicity’s dog. I think she is one of the hugest dogs I’ve ever seen in my life, but she is extremely sweet and friendly! As you can see in the picture below, she seems to really like Jessica. 🙂
Rosie & Jessica
..and we also saw a radiosonde launched by our NCAR colleagues!
I am sure we can learn a lot from her, and we’re looking forward to the next occasion to sit and listen to her amazing stories!
Ah, if you would like to join this community, I think there are a few free spots. The one in the picture below might be a good start! 🙂