1.  NCAR S-Pol Radar

    The NCAR S-band polarized radar has been placed near Sweet Home , Oregon.  It will provide both PPI (azimuthal) survellience scans and RHI (elevation) scans to provide detailed vertical cross sections of precipitation structures.  IMPROVE II S-Pol radar imagery can be accessed over the web at
2.  UW Convair 580 Aircraft

    The University of Washington Convair 580 aircraft Convair-580 will fly horizontal penetrations into the orographic precipitation system at various altitudes through the depth of the cloud mass, producing vertical cross sections of microphysical data.  It is equipped with a wide range of sensor for precipitation and cloud processors , as well as basic state parameters such as temperature, humidity, and wind.  More information about the Convair 580 can be found at:
3.  NOAA WP-3 Aircraft

    The NOAA P3 aircraft will provide critical data for IMPROVE II in a number of ways.  Most importantly, the tail dual-Doppler radars will provide a three-dimensional picture of the wind fields around the central Oregon Cascades at the same time as the Convair 580 is making detailed microphysical observatons.  Second, the P3 will be measuring cloud microphysical and basic state properties along its flight track.  Requested for IMPROVE II by Brad Colman of the National Weather Service, a  total of 70 hours of P3 time was awarded for IMPROVE II.

4.  NOAA Environmental Technology Lab Vertical Wind Profiler with RASS
    NOAA ETL has placed two 915Mhz radar wind profilers in the field for IMPROVE II, lcoated at Newport, Oregon on the coast, and at McKenzie Bridge, Oregon, immediately to the west of the Cascade crest. This instruments provide provide continuous wind and virtual temperatures soundings aloft.  Real-time access to the NOAA ETL profiler can be found at:    or
5.  NOAA Environmental Technology Lab Vertical S-Band Vertically Pointing Radar
    The NOAA S-Band (3 Ghz) vertical profiler describes precipitation structures aloft in  high resolution both in time and height.   It is colocated with the ETL profiler at McKenzie Bridge.  Real-time access to the NOAA ETL profiler can be found at:    or
6.  NCAR Integrated Sounding System(ISS)   (Two locations)

    The ISS consists of four separate subsystems:

     Balloon borne radiosonde navaid (Loran) sounding system;
     Enhanced surface observing station;
     915 MHz Doppler clear-air wind profiling radar;
     Radio Acoustic Sounding System (RASS).
    Vertical Wind Profiler and Radiosonde launch facility

    For IMPROVE NCAR has set up ISS systems at two locations: at the Halsey, in the Willamette Valley, and at Black Butte Ranch on the lee side of the barrier.  Only the Black Butte site has radiosonde launch capability.

Real-time and archival access to the ISS is available at:

7.  Pacific Northwest National Lab Atmospheric Remote Lab (PARSL)

    The Department of Energy's PNL lab will place a wide ranging instrument collection on the eastern side of the Cascade crest at Sisters, Oregon.  This  instrumentation suite  includes:

      94 GHz Cloud Radar
      35 GHz Scanning Cloud Radar
      Micropulse LIDAR
      Microwave Radiometer
      Broadband radiometers
      Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR)
      Infrared Thermometer (IRT)
      Surface MET
      Total Sky Imager
      Balloon-borne sounding system (BBSS)

    Many of these observations are online at:

8.  UW Portable Radiosonde Launch Unit
        In order to provide an upstream sounding over the Willamette Valley for westerly and southwesterly wind directions, a van with a portable radiosonde unit will be ready to launch radiosondes every two to three hours in appropriate upstream locations.

9.  Additional National Weather Service Radiosondes at Salem, Oregon

    Through a cooperative agreement with the National Weather Service Western Region and the Portland NWS office, the NWS will provide 35 additional radiosonde launches at Salem, Oregon in support of IMPROVE.

10.  IMPROVE II All-Weather Rain Gauges

    Rain gauges were placed at five sites along Oregon's Highway 20 and became operational on November 15 at 5:00 pm local time.  Each site was equipped with two rain gauges for the purposes of redundancy and quality control.  Each rain gauge is essentially an antifreeze storage reservoir connected to a tipping bucket.  Precipitation (either as rain or snow) falls into the storage reservoir and melts.  An equal volume of the antifreeze solution is then discharged into the tipping bucket.  The tipping bucket tips when 1 mm of precipitation has fallen and the time of each tip is recorded by a datalogger.

The sites were co-located with existing observational assets to the extent possible and locations are detailed in the table below.

Site Name                   Elevation           Distance from Santiam Crest
Falls Creek                   1500 ft               25 miles upwind
Jump of Joe               3500 ft                 15.6 miles upwind
Santiam Junction      3750 ft                  4.8 miles upwind
Hoggs Pass                4760 ft               at the pass
Corbett Park               4200 ft               2.4 miles downwind

Falls Creek is co-located with an existing US EPA LTER site.  All others, with the exception of Corbett Park, are co-located with USDA NRCS Snotel sites.

11.  IMPROVE Ice Crystal Observers (3 sites)
    Three ice crystal observers (Matt Garvert and John Locatelli of UW, Greg Thompson of NCAR) will be examining ice crystal reaching the ground at high elevation sites in the Oregon Cascades.  Using microscopes they will determine crystal types throughout the IOP periods.

12.  NCAR Radiometer

    NCAR is supplying a scanning radiometer for measuring integrated liquid water and water vapor. This sensor will be deployed at Santiam Junction.

13.  UW Disdrometer

    A Joss-Waldvogel disdrometer will be collocated with the NOAA/ETL Profilers at McKenzie Bridge Airstrip.  This disdrometer will be deployed  by Dr. Sandra Yuter.