Past IEM Features tagged: inversion
The ISU Soil Moisture Network has added three inversion stations to the network this spring. These stations are intended to monitor for low level temperature inversions that are impactful to activities like agricultural crop spraying. The station measures air temperature at a 1.5, 5 and 10 foot height above ground level. When the temperature increases with height, an inversion is likely present. The featured chart presents the minute by minute temperature difference between the 10 and 1.5 foot level since the first of May for the site near Ames. Areas in red would indicate an inversion is likely present. So what does the plot inform us? Inversions are typically limited to night time and dusk/dawn hours. Most any amount of solar heating leads to a warming ground surface and near surface air temperatures respond more quickly then a higher level. Look for more features and upcoming announcements regarding data from these new stations.
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Des Moines NEXRAD at 11:11 PM on 9 May 2006
During clear nights like last night, the ground and air near the surface will cool off creating a temperature inversion. When the inversion is strong, it will play havoc with EM waves from the NWS 88d RADAR. The beam will be refracted back toward the ground and start bouncing off objects like semi trucks. The featured image shows the result of this process with higher reflectivity values aligning with the interstate and highways. If the traffic motion is radial from the radar, you will also be able to see the traffic speeds in the doppler velocity data!
Tags: inversion nexrad