||A permanent mountain-top facility, Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), was constructed during the summer of 1995 in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado. Although SPL has been in existence in various forms for more than twenty-five years, the new facility is the latest stage of an evolutionary process of providing a practical, easily accessible facility for researchers, teachers and students of all ages and abilities. A clear upwind fetch places the lab in an ideal location from which to conduct studies of the free troposphere.
SPL is operated by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS). DRI is a branch of the Nevada System of Higher Education and is committed to continuing research and education programs in the atmospheric sciences.
Any U.S. or international scientific group or educational institution with needs for high elevation measurements, in-cloud research studies or related education or training are invited to SPL.
The location provides the highest-elevation forested site within the UV-B network. This allows monitoring and analysis of UV, solar and photosynthetic irradiances to sub-alpine ecosystems representative of a large portion of the western U.S. In addition, DRI conducts ongoing monitoring of mountain climate, aerosol concentration and size distributions, ambient carbon dioxide and ozone at SPL. Research includes studies of high-elevation climate trends and variability, cloud microphysical research on cloud-aerosol interactions, mesoscale model verification of orographic snowfall predictions, snow and cloud chemistry, validation of radiative transfer models for actinic flux, and development of satellite-based estimation methods for mesoscale spectral irradiances and photochemical reaction rates.