Illinois scientists to study weather data from eclipse
Aug. 22, 2017
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Two teams of scientists from the Illinois State Water Survey have collected weather data during the first coast-to-coast U.S. solar eclipse since 1918 and plan to analyze the findings.
Researchers nationwide collected similar data during the eclipse Monday to combine information and provide a picture of what occurs during the eclipse, program manager Jennie Atkins told The News-Gazette .
Measurements of air temperatures, solar radiation, barometric pressure and relative humidity were taken.
Atkins said her team worked for months adjusting equipment to ensure it worked properly for the eclipse.
Atkins and scientist David Kristovich, who led the study of changes in heating and cooling at the Earth's surface, said they were concerned weather conditions could affect their research. But Atkins said the teams were able to collect data at all the stations throughout Illinois.
"We were pretty happy," Atkins said.
Kristovich, whose study could be used to improve the mathematical models used to predict the weather, was at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois during the total eclipse. His team began their measurements Sunday evening, using Light Detection and Ranging sensors to view the motions of microscopic dust particles.
Atkins said the readings show a drop in solar radiation and temperatures as the moon's shadow passed over the area.
Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com