Meteorological Conditions at the Caucasus Observatory of the SAI MSU from the Results of the 2007–2015 Campaign
Based on the measurements performed from 2007 to 2015 at the summit of Mount Shatdzhatmaz adjacent to the 2.5-m telescope at the Caucasus Observatory of the SAI MSU, we have determined the statistical characteristics of basic meteorological parameters: the ambient air temperature, the ground wind speed, and the relative humidity. The stability of these parameters over the entire period of our measurements and their variations within an annual cycle have been studied. The median temperature on clear nights is +3.2°C, although there are nights with a temperature below −15°C. The typical ground wind speed is 3 m s−1; the probability of a wind stronger than 10 m s−1 does not exceed 2%. The losses of observing time due to high humidity are maximal in the summer period but, on the whole, are small over a year, less than 10%. We have estimated the absolute water vapor content in the atmosphere, which is especially important for infrared observations. Minimum precipitablewater vapor is observed in December–February; the median value over these months is 5 mm. We additionally provide the wind speeds at various altitudes above the ground (from 1 to 16 km) that we obtained when measuring the optical turbulence. We present the results and technique of our measurements of the annual amount of clear night astronomical time, which is, on average, 1320 h, i.e., 45% of the possible one at the latitude of the observatory. The period from mid-September to mid-March accounts for about 70% of the clear time. A maximum of clear skies is observed in November, when its fraction reaches 60% of the possible astronomical night time.