The weather station at Bull Shoals Field Station (BSFS) collects data that are relevant to a wide variety of studies, such as predicting dates for tree leaf-out and insect emergence; illustrating relationships between precipitation, air temperature and evapotranspiration; examining the effects of precipitation, temperature, and wind speed on fire danger; and determining water needs for fields and gardens.
Data are collected every 30 seconds and 30 minute averages are reported for each variable. The data are downloaded monthly, converted to Excel spreadsheets, and posted to the BSFS web site. Power for operating this remote weather station is provided by a solar panel and storage battery.
The following environmental variables are being monitored. :
- Air temperature
- Fuel moisture (a measure of how dry conditions are, which may aid in fire prediction; "fuel" refers to combustible materials such as leaf litter)
- Fuel temperature (a measurement of the temperature of combustible materials that may aid in fire prediction)
- Relative humidity
- Soil moisture (@ 20 cm depth)
- Soil temperature (@ 5 and 20 cm depth)
- Wind speed and direction