Over the course of two falls, two winters, two springs, and a summer, more than three dozen scientific instruments — including a variety of radars, lidars, cameras, balloons, and other state-of-the-art equipment — will collect a treasure trove of data on precipitation, wind, clouds, aerosols, solar and thermal energy, temperature, humidity, ozone, and more. That data can then be used to turbocharge the capabilities of Earth system models and answer many scientific questions about how, why, where, and when rain and snow will fall.

After the Caldor Fire erupted in August 2021, scientists from Berkeley Lab launched a research project to study how the fire would affect the mountain ecosystem, including factors such as streamflow, groundwater levels, water quality, and possible soil erosion leading to floods and debris flow. They mobilized to burn areas to collect samples of water, sediment, and ash.