April 12th Reddit AMA: What’s On the Radar? | Talk Weather Research with NOAA

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Kurt Hondl, Katie Wilson, Jessica Schultz and Terry Schuur will be taking your questions on April 12 during a Reddit Ask Me Anything.

When severe weather strikes anywhere in the United States, weather radar is one of the most important tools forecasters use to track storms and warn the public. The current system, known as the WSR-88D radar or NEXRAD, provides the best quality data available in the world, and is the most reliable.

We are radar specialists and work in the Radar Operations Center, the support center for the nation’s radar system, and at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, which houses scientists from a variety of organizations, including NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and the University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS).

The NEXRADs were deployed in the early to mid-1990s and were upgraded with new dual-polarization technology a few years ago. To keep them running for another 30 years, a $150 million, seven-year effort is underway to refurbish and replace major system components such as the signal processor, transmitter, pedestal, and equipment shelters.

NSSL researchers are developing the next big advancement—phased array radar. It has a unique flat panel antenna made up of a grid of fixed elements, and each can transmit and receive a signal. As a result, the radar beam can be steered electronically, giving users the ability to control how, when and where the radar scans. This will provide forecasters with faster updates.

We’ll be ready to answer your questions on April 12th from 1 – 3 p.m. ET/ 12 – 2 p.m. CT,  so ask us anything!

Reddit AMA Details

Who:  Jessica Schultz, meteorologist, NEXRAD Radar Operations Center, NOAA/NWS
Kurt Hondl, manager and research scientist, NOAA NSSL
Terry Schuur, CIMMS research scientist, working at the NOAA NSSL
Katie Wilson, CIMMS research scientist, working at the NOAA NSSL
When: Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 1 – 3 p.m. ET/12 – 2 p.m. CT
Where: Reddit Science AMA series

About the Scientists

Jessica Schultz is a meteorologist working at the tri-agency Radar Operations Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and a Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership from The University of Oklahoma. A former field forecaster with the NOAA National Weather Service, she has taken a leadership role in transferring major radar improvements and technologies into the NEXRAD network.

Kurt Hondl is the program manager for multi-function phased array radar research at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Lab. Originally from Dickinson, North Dakota, Hondi received a Master’s degree from The University of Oklahoma and specializes in forecasting display systems and radar development.

Terry Schuur is a research scientist at The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies working at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory. Schuur earned a doctorate in Atmospheric Science and his research involves work on cloud physics and polarimetric radar research.

Katie Wilson is a research scientist at The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies working at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory. She recently earned her doctoral degree in meteorology from The University of Oklahoma. A native of central England, she works on interdisciplinary experiments to understand the impact of higher-temporal resolution radar data on National Weather Service forecasters’ warning decision processes.

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April 27 Reddit AMA: Tornado! Severe Weather Research & Prediction with NOAA

Spring has arrived and with it come efforts to study and learn to better predict severe weather like tornadoes. Join NOAA for a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on severe weather research and prediction on April 27, 2017.

Patrick Marsh, Adam Clark, Kim Klockow and Harold Brooks will take your questions during Thursday’s #Reddit AMA.

Severe weather touches every state in the U.S. Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hail, strong winds, and floods are real threats to our property and our lives. The NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed and VORTEX-SE (Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast) are designed to learn more about storms, helping to improve our prediction abilities and bring you better forecasts.

At the National Weather Center, which houses NOAA’s National Severe Storm Laboratory (NSSL) and Storm Prediction Center, as well as the University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), our scientists work to better understand and predict severe weather to help everyone be prepared.

Reddit AMA Details


     Harold Brooks, NOAA NSSL research meteorologist

     Kim Klockow, UCAR scientist at CIMMS

     Adam Clark, NOAA NSSL research meteorologist

     Patrick Marsh, NOAA SPC warning coordination meteorologist

When: Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CT

Where: Reddit Science AMA series

About the Scientists

Harold Brooks, a senior scientist in the Forecast Research and Development Division of NOAA NSSL, is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science in 1990 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined NSSL in 1991 as a research meteorologist specializing in tornado climatology.

Adam Clark is a meteorologist with NOAA NSSL and a 2014 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) winner. Originally from Des Moine, Iowa, Clark received his Ph.D. in meteorology and started working at NSSL in 2009. Clark is active in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, which conducts experiments mainly late March and April.

Kim Klockow is a University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) project scientist at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at The University of Oklahoma who earned her Ph.D. in Human Geography. Working with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, her research involves behavioral science focused on weather and climate risk, and explores the effects of risk visualization on judgment and perceptions of severe weather risk from a combination of place-based and cognitive perspectives.

Patrick Marsh is a warning coordination meteorologist at the NOAA National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, which provides forecasts and watches for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over the contiguous United States. He was born in Georgia but grew up in Arkansas and received his Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma.


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