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Greetings! We hope your fall season goes smoothly. We’re getting ready for the fall annual NADP meeting which starts Tuesday, October 17. So there are lots of things to do. We're sure all of you have pre-winter tasks of your own. Here are a few maintenance items for your recording raingage which you might try to sneak into the schedule.

PRE-WINTER RAINGAGE INSPECTION AND CLEANING – As winter approaches, all kinds of critters may want to make your gage their home. We recommend removing the case and performing the following tasks:

DEBRIS CHECK/CLEANING (See the arrows in Figure 1) – Using a medium stiffness 2" paint brush remove any spider webs, ant nests, etc., from these areas and then spray the area with a solvent such as GUMOUT or an electrical contact cleaner. DO NOT USE WD-40 or other "oily" lubricants.
(See Figure 2) – Remove the dashpot and check its contents. Does the fluid inside appear clean? Does it have water in it? If it’s dirty or watery the fluid should be emptied, the dashpot wiped out with a cloth, and the fluid replaced (see page D 18 – D 19 of the Site Operation Manual). We provide the dashpot fluid–just circle it on your field form in the SUPPLIES block.

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Hello out there in NTN land! We hope your pre-holiday planning is going well. Not that many shopping days ‘til you-know what!

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT RAINGAGE WINTERIZING - Please return the tear-off sheets from the instruction memo to us ASAP after you add antifreeze and remove the funnel from the raingage. We need this information to validate your precipitation data. Frozen precipitation amounts are invalidated if the raingage has not been winterized. If you have questions or problems with how and when to perform the procedures, please call Scott at 800-952-7353 or review section, page 5-5 in the Site Operation Manual.

ALTERNATE RAINGAGE USE - Clock slowdowns and pens skipping can result in lost precipitation data. Remember that any daily manual gage or recording gage within 1/4 mile can be substituted for your Belfort. Be sure to note the amount, the gage used, and its approximate location in the comments section of the FORF.

ANNUAL MAP SUMMARY -The 1999 annual summary is enclosed. If you have questions about how your data were handled, how the maps were generated, or how your site’s efficiency can be improved, call Scott.

2001 CALendar - (Enclosed) If additional CALendars are needed, contact Sarah Milton (smilton@sws.uiuc.edu) or call Scott. Featured items are:
1)     Reminders about equipment maintenance
2)     CAL Operator Training Course (May 1-3, 2001)
3)     Dry bucket cleaning, lid seal change, and winterizing/dewinterizing instructions in the back
4)     AIRMoN site map added; and 5) Site 5, 10, 15, and 20 year anniversaries are noted.

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WEEKLY ANTIFREEZE MAINTENANCE - During the ice and snow season it is important to service the antifreeze in your Belfort catch bucket weekly as follows: 1) remove last week’s raingage chart; 2) remove the top cap of the instrument, 3) remove the catch bucket, 4) remove any floating ice from the bucket using a big straining spoon, and 4) stir the antifreeze to mix. The winterizing instructions found in the NTN Site Operations Manual (Table 5-1, pages 5-5 & 5-6) and the winterizing memo sent to your site included an antifreeze dilution table. This table indicates to what temperature your antifreeze is effective. In practice, you will need to maintain the antifreeze volume at a higher level than the table might imply. The bottom line is, add enough antifreeze to prevent the bucket from bursting and to provide an active surface to collect snow. If you have any questions please call Scott at 800-952-7353.

                                                    Thank you.

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Web page was updated 01/20/2010


CAL Questions? Contact Chris Lehmann, Director
Central Analytical Laboratory - (217) 244-0868
Web Comments: E-Mail Pamela Bedient