Weather Blog

UW to use tennis balls to keep tabs on mountain snowpack

UW to use tennis balls to keep tabs on mountain snowpack
UW assistant professor Jessica Lundquist (left) and graduate student Eset Alemu flake nylon rope into a bag so it will unravel smoothly when a sensor is catapulted into the canopy. (Photo Courtesy: University of Washington)

Why spend $10,000 on fancy weather equipment when for $30, you can do a decent job of tracking snow and temperature in the mountains?

That's just what Jessica Lundquist is up to at the University of Washington.

As an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, she's fashioned together a weather monitoring device using dime-sized temperature sensors, first developed for the refrigerated food industry, and tennis balls. She then uses a dog-ball launcher to send the devices high into the trees where they can record data for up to 11 months.

Read more at uwnews.org