Kyle Dittmer, science and mathematics faculty, contributed to the book Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples of the United States, published by Springer in May 2014.
About the Hanson Meteorological Station
The Hanson Meteorological Station is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Larry Hanson, former chair of the Department of Science & Mathematics at Marylhurst University.
Larry was a friend to students, faculty and staff and excelled at making science learning active, engaging and often a lot of fun. Larry became chair at Marylhurst in 1986. Prior to that he was teaching at the University of Washington where he received a faculty excellence award.
Short Glossary of Weather Terms
Atmospheric pressure — The weight of the atmosphere corrected for sea level. The values shown are in units of inches of mercury (inches – Hg). When the barometer goes up, we experience a high pressure system. When it is falling, a low pressure system is moving in.
Wind direction and wind speed — In meteorology, the wind direction is where the wind is coming from. The general wind direction for Marylhurst is from the west but shifts when weather changes occur. Speeds are in miles per hour. A gentle breeze is around five miles per hour. A "my umbrella blew inside out" wind will be at least 20 miles an hour. And when we get a 50 mile an hour wind, expect many tree branches to be on the ground.
Dew point — This is the temperature where the local atmosphere cannot hold any more water vapor. Expect clouds or fog to form when the temperature is at the dew point. This is related to humidity.
Wind chill — In calm air, your body heats up the air immediately around you. When the wind blows, this warm air is blown away from you. Wind also increases the evaporation rate from your skin. Both effects of the wind help make you feel colder than the air temperature would suggest. That's wind chill.
Humidity — Humidity indicates how much water vapor is in the air. When expressed as a percent, this is how much water vapor the air can hold. A relative humidity of 60% means that the air at the current temperature is holding 60% of the total water vapor it can hold.
Rates — Several of the quantities are rates of change. These show how fast a condition is changing. An important rate is for barometric pressure. If this is changing slowly, like 0.01 inches-Hg per hour then the weather will also change slowly. However if it is changing rapidly, like 0.1 inches-Hg per hour, expect a major and quick change in the weather.