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FESST@home — International field experiment in the time of social distancing

Sci­en­tists would not live up to their cre­ative spir­it, if they could not find a solu­tion for a mea­sure­ment cam­paign in the time of social dis­tanc­ing and lim­it­ed trav­el oppor­tu­ni­ties. For sum­mer 2020, we had planned the inter­na­tion­al field exper­i­ment FES­ST­VaL (http:// for detect­ing wind gusts and mea­sur­ing cold air out­flows from deep con­vec­tive clouds at the obser­va­to­ry of the Ger­man Weath­er Ser­vice in Lin­den­berg. Our full cam­paign FES­ST­VaL, short for Field Exper­i­ment on Sub­me­soscale Spa­tio- Tem­po­ral Vari­abil­i­ty, had to be re-sched­uled for sum­mer 2021 due to the pan­dem­ic. Nev­er­the­less we did not give up our mea­sure­ments this sum­mer. In the cur­rent­ly ongo­ing cam­paign FESST@home, we nev­er­the­less car­ry out our wind mea­sure­ments in Lin­den­berg, but, for most of the team, the work is done from home. Our FESST@home team at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cologne is inter­est­ed in the obser­va­tions of wind gusts and noc­tur­nal low-lev­el jets — wind speed max­i­ma that devel­op in a few hun­dred meters above the ground at night. To this end, we use the mea­sure­ment data from remote sens­ing instru­ments installed and oper­at­ed by our part­ners in Lin­den­berg, which we can inves­ti­gate via the inter­net in our home offices. We aim to assess and help to improve the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of these wind char­ac­ter­is­tics in the high-res­o­lu­tion reanaly­sis prod­ucts used for cli­mate mon­i­tor­ing and diag­nos­tics. We devel­op these region­al high- res­o­lu­tion re-analy­ses in the HErZ branch ( based at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cologne and the Uni­ver­si­ty Bonn in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with our part­ners at the Ger­man Weath­er Ser­vice in Offen­bach. This week, we close­ly work togeth­er despite being apart by exchang­ing our views and data inter­pre­ta­tions in dai­ly brief­in­gs in vir­tu­al meet­ings. Who would have thought that a joint field cam­paign is pos­si­ble, despite all dif­fi­cul­ties that the pan­dem­ic is caus­ing.