Every year, the NWS in Louisville judiciously selects less than a handful of meteorology students to volunteer or intern over the summer in order to gain irreplaceable experience for their future careers. Part of that experience involves becoming familiar with our partners as well as seeing the crucial equipment essential to our daily operations and our mission to protect life and property. This year's students had that chance on July 16, 2014 during NWS Louisville's Annual Familiarization Trip.
Fort Knox Army Post
Our staff, student volunteers, and Hollings scholars visited the WSR-88D radar at Fort Knox before seeing our counterpart military forecasters in action and taking a firsthand look inside the Godman Air Traffic Control tower. Climbing 30 meters into the air alongside our radar technician, Ben Read, the group bravely viewed Fort Knox from our radar's perspective. Mark Adams, Station Chief of Fort Knox weather station, gave an overview of the routine responsibilities of our counterpart military forecasters and how the NWS works with them.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Another stop on our journey, Bernheim forest, gave staff and students the opportunity to visit both a Kentucky Mesonet Site and a COOP observer station. Harold Hendricks, operations manager at Bernheim, along with our hydrometeorological technician Rick Lasher, discussed with the group the Mesonet site's parts and the process of recording rainfall and temperature data. The group gained a renewed appreciation for the importance of these instruments to NWS daily functions.
Salt River Gauge and Flash Flood Hotspot
One area of the Weather Service's responsibilities that many meteorology students have not fully explored is hydrology. The group visited Shepherdsville’s river gauge on the Salt River and a local flash flood hotspot in order to understand the impacts of weather on the river systems. This knowledge can help the group improve public awareness of flood hazards as well as help the students holistically evaluate hydrological impacts.
For more information about the places we visited, please follow the links below: