Storm Peak Laboratory
A permanent mountain-top facility, Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), was constructed during the summer of 1995 in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado (3220 m M.S.L.; 40.455 deg N, -106.744 deg W). Although SPL has been in existence in various forms for more than thirty 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.
The Storm Peak Laboratory is situated on a 70 km long north-south mountain barrier, oriented generally perpendicular to the prevailing westerly winds. SPL is approximately 1150 m above, and to the east of the agricultural Yampa Valley, and the town of Steamboat Springs, CO. Located on a peak with limited upwind vegetation or topography to create local turbulence under normal airflow conditions, SPL is ideally situated for in-cloud measurements. This exposure also frequently allows clear-air physical and chemical measurements of the free troposphere (at approximately the 700 mb level) uncontaminated by the local boundary layer.
A permanent research laboratory of this type allows study on a recurrent long-term basis, enabling a greater understanding and characterization of the meteorological processes than is available from temporally limited field projects at unfamiliar locations.
Storm Peak Laboratory 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. DRI is an equal opportunity service provider and employer. DRI is a permittee of the Medicine-Bow Routt National Forest.