NSSL scientists present at National Weather Association Annual Meeting

NSSL scientists will present current research at the National Weather Association Annual Meeting to be held in Norfolk, VA from October 18-22, 2009.  The theme of the meeting is: “The Future is Now:  New Technologies and Techniques to Support the Weather Enterprise and Society:  2010 and Beyond.”

The Spring 2009 Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment will be highlighted along with how wet microburst events can be “nowcasted” with the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar.

Presentations on the NOAA HWT will include how the program bridges the gap between research and operations, and activities occurring during the Spring 2009 Experimental Warning Program.   Also at the HWT this past spring, the GOES-R Proving Ground began with the assessment and development of techniques for the next generation GOES satellites (GOES-R).

NSSL’s vision for storm scale numerical weather prediction and recent research to improve models used in operational severe weather forecasting are on the agenda, and the concept of “Pathcasts” will be introduced to discuss how well can we forecast future tornado locations.

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NSSL research to be presented at European Conference on Severe Storms

NSSL researchers will be presenting two papers at the 5th European Conference on Severe Storms in Landshutz, Germany October 12-16, 2009.

The “Evolution of downdraft thermodynamics and low-level rotation in the tornadic 29 May 2004 Geary, OK USA supercell storm” discusses data collected by two mobile C-Band radars. The combined dataset begins to test a hypothesis about how a low-level mesocyclone is intensified, and how the hypothesis could be tested during VORTEX2. NSSL’s Conrad Ziegler is lead author, and Lou Wicker, Ted Mansell and Don MacGorman (all NSSL), and Kristin Kuhlman (NSSL/CIMMS) are co-authors.

“Evaluation of ESTOFEX Forecasts” looks at the quality of the European Storm Forecast Experiment and concludes ESTOFEX forecasts were reasonably good. Evaluation of forecasts is an important step towards improving forecasts. ESTOFEX forecasts also provide an excellent opportunity to explore the use of relatively new techniques to evaluate and display forecast information. Lead author is NSSL’s Harold Brooks.

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2009 AMS Radar Conference features NSSL research

New developments in phased array radar and dual-polarization capabilities will be among the 20 topics presented by NSSL scientists during the 2009 AMS Radar Conference to be held in Williamsburg, Va. from October 5-9, 2009.

The national network of WSR-88D radars will be upgraded with dual-polarization capabilities beginning Summer 2010.  NSSL was a pioneer in this research, and continues to develop and enhance products that will be part of this improvement.  Presentations will include how polarimetric radar could potentially improve flash flood prediction, new algorithms to correct errors in radar quantitative precipitation estimation, how to quantify the impact of evaporation on precipitation estimates, and the development of a database of flash flood events in the U.S. using NSSL’s innovative Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment.

The National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar will receive much attention during the conference with presentations on recent developments and improvements including dual-polarized phased array weather radar.  An overview of what’s new, work on ground clutter, scanning strategies, and data quality control are all planned talks.  The evaluation of a tornadic supercell and the Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment which occurred in Spring 2009 will also be highlighted.

Other presentations include ways to improve the current WSR-88D through new algorithms to more effectively process the data, and research conducted using mobile radars.  Mobile radar observations of supercells during VORTEX2 are also on the agenda.

Radar is an important tool for weather forecasters and radar research is a key part of NSSL’s mission.

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NOAA Hollings Students present Summer Research Projects

Eight undergraduate students from around the U.S. are presenting the results of their summer research projects this week as part of the NOAA Hollings Scholars program.  The prestigious opportunity is designed to help encourage students to pursue a future career in atmospheric science research.

Ten NSSL and NSSL/Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies researchers and four Storm Prediction Center forecasters have donated their time to mentor a student through the research process.  The scientists and students choose a project and end their experience with a formal presentation on their results.  Students are also treated to tours, field trips, and lectures.

2009 NOAA Hollings Scholars and projects:

Madison Burnett, University of Missouri

Mentors: Travis Smith, Valliappa Lakshmanan, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies/National Severe Storms Laboratory

“Improvements to Cluster Identification and Tracking in a Circulation Detection Algorithm”

Elizabeth Thompson, Valparaiso University

Mentors: Ken Howard, NSSL and Katherine Willingham, CIMMS/NSSL “Characteristics of Microbursts in Central Arizona”

Darren Snively, Ohio University

Mentors: Richard Thompson, Jeremy Grams, Storm Prediction Center

“Synoptic Environments and Convective Modes Associated with Significant Tornadoes in the Contiguous United States – A Null Case Dataset”

Aaron “Ari” Preston, University of Michigan

Mentors: Don MacGorman, NSSL and Terry Schuur, CIMMS/NSSL

“Study of 3-D Total Lightning Activity Relative to Radar-Inferred Storm Parameters”

Rockwell Schrock, University of Connecticut

Mentor: Daphne Thompson, CIMMS/NSSL

“Creating a Tornado Presentation for Science on a Sphere”

Tomas Castellanos, Cornell University

Mentors: Bryan Smith, David Imy, SPC

“A Surface Observing System Measured Severe Convective Wind Analysis, 2005-2008”

Douglas Crauder, Columbia University

Mentor: Kevin Manross, CIMMS/NSSL

“Examining Polarimetric ZDR Signatures on Isothermal Surfaces Relating to Severe Hail”

Preston Carter, University of Oklahoma

Mentors: Don MacGorman, Harold Brooks, NSSL

“Five Year Lightning Climatology using the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array”

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