Microbarograph/Anemometer

Next to the Downslope Wind display is an instrument that measures barometric pressure, called a microbarograph, and a digital display for a wind speed indicator, called an anomometer. On the microbarograph's circular drum, a pen draws a minute tracing of the week's barometric pressure. The pen moves imperceptibly: it takes 2 hours to cross two vertical green lines less than a quarter of an inch apart, but that allows us to watch the smallest changes in the air pressure, which can signal an approaching storm system, for example, or later show us exactly how and when the system went through the area. The anomometer is much more lively; if there is any wind outside, the digital display changes twice a second. Sometimes when chinook winds are gusting, it is exciting to watch the display of the changing winds as they continuously blow faster and slower.

Even visitors taking the Virtual Tour can read the air pressure and winds speeds at NCAR's Mesa Laboratory, and also at its sister lab, the Foothills Laboratory; automated instruments on the roof of both buildings allow readings of those and other weather parameters to be acquired every 5 minutes. You can access them on the UCARWeb Weather Page at http://www.ucar.edu/ucar/weather.html, and then click on "Current Conditions" at the Mesa or Foothills Labs.