PAM the Weather Robot

The land-based counterpart to the dropwindsondes used over water is the Portable Automated Mesonet, or PAM. Often, multiple PAM instruments are used in studies covering large regional areas to track storm systems over time; because the data are acquired every few seconds, they provide a very detailed technological readout.

The PAM pictured here is positioned outside the Mesa Laboratory. Designed by NCAR staff, such instruments provide almost continuous weather monitoring including temperature, wind, pressure, and humidity. Newer models now in use also monitor solar radiation, frozen precipitation, and the interactions, or fluxes, between the ground and the air just above it.

To learn more about the division at NCAR that designed and built PAM, the Atmospheric Technology Division (ATD), check out