SJSU Students Join Nationwide Solar Eclipse Weather Data Project

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, under the supervision of Professor Sen Chiao, will travel to Oregon, where they will take radiosonde measurements during the eclipse. (James Tensuan/San Jose State University)

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh (right of the monitor) and a student team prepare to study the eclipse (Photos: James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

Media contact:
Robin McElhatton,, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA — San Jose State University students will travel to Oregon to be among the first researchers in the nation to measure atmospheric conditions during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our meteorology students to investigate how the atmosphere responds during a brief disruption in the sun’s energy. They will be part of the most well-documented and most studied total solar eclipse so far,” said Arthur Eiserloh, lecturer in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science.

The SJSU group will team up with students from Oregon Coast Community College in Newport, Ore. They will release eight radiosonde devices. Each device will be carried by a balloon to various levels of the atmosphere and will transmit measurements by radio. The team will study air temperature, air pressure, moisture and winds.

Lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Photojournalism).

Eiserloh and students, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument.

“When I first heard about this project, it seemed like a really good opportunity. Projects like this motivate people in STEM majors,” said Arianna Jordan, ’18 Meteorology and Climate Science. “It’s going to be a really amazing experience and I’m excited to share what we find with the world.”

The San Jose-Oregon team members are joining students from 13 universities nationwide in the Solar Eclipse Radiosonde Project. The SJSU group is working under the auspices of the SJSU Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education, directed by Sen Chiao, associate professor of meteorology and climate science.

The center is a NASA Minority University Research and Education Project, which seeks to support underrepresented minorities in atmospheric-related disciplines, including meteorology, climate, physics, hydrology, public health, and engineering, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU Meteorologist Forecasts Super Bowl Weather

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

By Jan Null, Lecturer of Meteorology and Climate Science and Certified Consulting Meteorologist

This week will see the eyes of the world focused on the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the days preceding. Game day is still at the far end of the meteorological forecast model’s capabilities, and consequently, it is still a tossup as to whether it will actually rain in Santa Clara on that day. There is even a lesser chance of rain during the four-hour period of play.

The general trend for the entire week of activities preceding the Super Bowl is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that only a couple weak weather systems will move through the region during that time, but the bad news is that most Californians would rather see more rain toward the mitigation of the drought.

Looking at the past 49 years during the week preceding the Super Bowl, it has rained on average two days, with an average rainfall amount of 0.81 inches at the Mineta-San Jose International Airport, just three miles away from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. That rain occurred on 37 of the 49 weeks, or 76 percent of the time. It is also interesting to note that the two wettest Super Bowl weeks were during the strong El Nino events of 1997-98 (6.76 inches) and 1972-73 (2.23 inches).

Over the past 49 February 7ths it has rained 41 percent of the time on game day, but probably on the order of 15 percent of the time during the late afternoon.

The bottom line looks like any precipitation will be more of nuisance and not a deluge.