Where We Live:
History, Nature and Culture
History-Making Science of Rainfall at Coweeta Hydrologic Lab
September 18, 2023 at 6:30p.m.
On Monday, September 18, the series “Where We Live: History, Nature, and Culture” will host
the program "History-Making Science of Rainfall at Coweeta Hydrologic Lab."
The rainfall display on your TV or smartphone in green, yellow and red patches is based upon
data collected at the US Forest Service’s Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in southern Macon
County. During the early 1960s, scientists at Coweeta were involved in a study relating RADAR
signal to rain intensity, working with the Signal Corps of the US Army and Illinois Water Survey.
Sites for the study were Marshall Islands (oceanic), New Jersey (coastal), New Mexico
Mountains (arid) and Coweeta (humid). Through an elaborate sampling and filming system, rain
intensity could be determined. They were to collect 18 months data but the Coweeta record
was so good, they doubled the study duration.
As the Research Meteorologist at Coweeta, Dr. Lloyd Swift headed the rain study and we are
very fortunate to have this eminent, retired scientist to do this presentation. He joined the
Coweeta scientific staff in 1957 and retired in1999. He studied Forestry at Syracuse Univ., Soil and water at NC State, and Hydrology-Meteorology at Duke.
The program will take place at Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center at 51 Cowee School Rd.
in Franklin beginning at 6:30 p.m. on September 18. Ranging from such outstanding scientific
work to folk wisdom to the diverse natural world, the series highlights the richness of our area.
Come join us!