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Developing a Pacific Region GPS Met Network

The Pacific Region GPS Met project is a broadband meteorological sensor network co-located with GPS receivers that can capture geophysical and atmospheric measurements. Meteorological observing equipment has been deployed at 10 sites to help support modeling capabilities and improve local forecasts and warnings.  The information collected by the GPS Met network will allow forecasters and researchers to better follow streams of moisture in the atmosphere enabling the Pacific Region NWS forecasters to better predict tropical weather patterns, which create destructive flooding and other inclement weather.  Data from these sensors and improved modeling will likely promote advanced detection of developing tropical cyclones and signs of their rapid development or weakening. 

The strategic locations of the sensors (especially those located within the Hawaiian Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia) have the added benefit of early detection of atmospheric rivers, which play a critical role in the global water cycle.  Atmospheric rivers are a key source of moisture that falls as rain and snow in the Western states.  Deeply rooted equatorial atmospheric rivers have been tied directly to the destructive flooding that has occurred within the Hawaiian Islands, along the west coast of the US Mainland, and especially along the coast of California. 

The following sites instrumented in this project include:

  • Majuro (Weather Service Office (WSO))
  • Kwajalein (Department of Defense base near the Kwajalein weather station)
  • Pohnpei (WSO)
  • Chuuk (WSO)
  • Yap (WSO)
  • Palau (near the airport)
  • Guam (Weather Forecast Office)
  • Saipan (airport near the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS))
  • Lihue (Data Collection Office)
  • Hilo (ASOS site)


Bill Ward
Duane Carpenter