This website contains information that was current as of October 2020.
The DOW Radar and Surface Instrumentation Facility has partnered with the University of Illinois and is excited to continue providing the best possible education and research opportunities!
A new website currently is under development at: https://dowfacility.atmos.illinois.edu/
CSWR operates the Doppler On Wheels (DOW) network, Mobile Mesonets, Mobile Upper Air Sounding systems, Disdrometers, and ruggedized deployable instrumentation Pods in service to the scientific community.
To request CSWR instrumentation, click Facility Requests to the left.
DOWs 7 and 8 recently traveled to the Texas-Louisiana border to deploy on category 4 Hurricane Laura as it made landfall along the Gulf coast. After two long days of driving, followed by a full day of getting wrapped in duct tape, tarps, and ratchet straps the DOWs began their long night of scanning, hoping to capture elusive mesovortices and TSVs (tornado-scale vortices) in the hurricane eye. The mission was recently featured in the Washington Post (linked below). Click here to see a slideshow of our pictures from the deployment.
Link to slideshow: Link
In late 2018, CSWR played prominantly in project RELAMPAGO, one of the largest projects ever undertaken by NSF. Multiple institutions, universities and research organizations converged on Córdoba, Argentina to observe storm formation and evolution in a region of the world not thoroughly studied. Recently, the project, as well as CSWR's contribution, was featured in an article in the New York Times.
From 20 January to 16 February 2020, DOW7 was on hand for the BLOWN-UNDER project at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The aim of the project was to study the blowing snow and blizzard conditions common to N.D. in the harsh winter months, and to give students hands-on experience with a mobile weather radar. Ironically, the weather was calm and clear until the end of the project, when the team led by UND professor and project lead Aaron Kennedy, got just the winter weather conditions they were waiting for.
Over twenty-one years ago on May 3, 1999, an extraordinarilly powerful F5 tornado devasted southern Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. It killed 36 people and caused nearly $1 billion in damages, prompting President Bill Clinton to sign a major disaster declaration for the affected areas. DOW2 and DOW3 were both on hand to observe the event for project ROTATE, with DOW3 recording the highest wind speed ever observed on Earth: 301 (+/- 20) mph at the point when the tornado was at its strongest, before striking Moore.