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CPO Director, Wayne Higgins to attend AMS Council Fall 2019 Meeting

September 26-27: CPO Director Dr. Wayne Higgins will be attending the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Council Fall 2019 Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Higgins has been appointed to serve as Councilor to AMS from January 2019 to January 2022. The Council is the principal governing body of the Society consisting of the elective officers, the last two Past-Presidents, and 15 other voting members of the Society, each elected for a three-year term. Key items on the agenda include finalizing the 2020 proposed budget, awards oversight, and approving AMS statements on Data Management, and the Energy Sector and Earth Observations.

CPO’s National Integrated Drought Information System to host Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System meeting

On October 8, CPO's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) will host a meeting in Portland, Oregon bringing together NIDIS Pacific Northwest (PNW) Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) stakeholders and partners. Participants will discuss progress on PNW DEWS Strategic Plan and learn about regional, state, and tribal partners activities to improve drought early warning, monitoring, and preparedness . The meeting’s major outcome will be an update to the PNW DEWS Regional Implementation Plan (formerly known as Strategic Plan) to help advance organized and enhanced drought services in the Pacific Northwest.

Upcoming workshop on Air Quality in the Western United States

On September 25-26, CPO’s Atmospheric Chemistry, Climate, and Carbon Cycle (AC4) Program, in partnership with NSF, is supporting a workshop on Air Quality in the Western U.S. (AQUARIUS) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Particulate matter, especially PM2.5 which is harmful to human health, has generally decreased in recent years throughout the U.S., thanks to regulatory policies. However, several western U.S. basins have not seen improvement in wintertime particulate matter concentrations. This suggests there is a gap in understanding how the lower part of our atmosphere and complex chemical processes interact, especially in mountain valleys that often trap polluted air, to produce elevated particulate matter conditions. To improve understanding of these unique regions and processes, AQUARIUS will focus on a future aircraft campaign in the winter of 2021/2022 to investigate wintertime particulate matter in populated mountain basins of the western U.S. Hosted by the University of Utah, the workshop will bring together scientists from NOAA/ESRL and from across the external community.

CPO to announce $22.8 million to advance climate understanding and prediction, enhance resilience

On October 1st, the Climate Program Office is expecting to announce $22.8 million in competitive awards to support 62 new projects. The diverse set of new projects ranges from explaining long-term trends in atmospheric composition to supporting resilient fishing communities. Universities and other research institutions spread across 31 states, alongside other federal agencies in close collaboration with NOAA, will conduct the projects over the next 1-3 years. Selected in an open, competitive peer-review process, anticipated project outcomes include improved projections of 21st century climate, enhanced capacity of fishing communities to assess climate-driven socio-economic risks and impacts, a better understanding of trends in our long-term observational records, and increased resilience to extreme events. These projects all significantly extend NOAA’s climate research and engage the broad research community with issues at the crux of NOAA’s mission. 

GSD researcher presenting at AeroCom in Barcelona, Spain

Sept 23-28 GSD scientist Georg Grell will present at the 18th AeroCom meeting in Barcelona, Spain. AeroCom is an open international initiative of scientists interested in the advancement of the understanding of global aerosol properties and aerosol impacts on climate, weather, and air quality. A central goal is to more strongly tie and constrain modeling efforts to observational data from satellite, ground-based, and aircraft observations. A major element for exchanges between data and modeling groups are annual meetings of AeroCom together with the satellite data oriented initiative AeroSAT. In addition to the comparisons among models and between models and data, AeroCom initiates and coordinates model experiments to target particular research topics, leading to joint research papers of synthesizing character.

NOAA Awards L3 Latitude Contract

On September 12, 2019 the NOAA awarded L3 Latitude a support contract to continue development of the L3 Latitude FVR-55 hybrid Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) UAS, integrate NOAA scientific payloads, and support UAS flight operations from the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown for the NOAA UAS Program. The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory is developing UAS payloads to make aerosol and meteorological measurements. The Physical Science Division is developing a sensor to measure atmospheric parameters such as heat flux.
The L3 Latitude FVR-55 UAS has been developed through a NOAA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant. This hybrid UAS has unique capabilities which allow for autonomous launch and recovery from the deck of a ship without the need for a runway or catapult. After vertical takeoff, the UAS transitions to fixed wing flight with an endurance of up to 10 hours, a ceiling of 12,000ft and the ability to carry up to a 15 lb payload. The payload nose cone can be used to house different instrumentation dependent upon the mission.
The UAS will be operated from the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown and during the Atlantic Tradewind Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign (ATOMIC), which is a field study to investigate atmospheric shallow convection and air-sea interaction in the tropical North Atlantic east of Barbados in 2020.

FACETs workshop, OAR FACETs working group at NSSL

Sept. 23-25, a FACETs post-doc orientation meeting and OAR working group are hosted by OWAQ at NSSL's offices in Norman, Oklahoma. The goal of the workshop is to familiarize post-docs with the project and progress on the project, while coordinating ideas for the future of the project during the working group. FACETs is Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats and is a proposed next-generation framework for communicating hazardous weather information to be utilized and developed by labs throughout OAR.

Measuring the impact of additional instrumentation on the skill of numerical weather prediction models at forecasting wind ramp events during the first Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP)

Grid operators responsible for making decisions on what kind of power generation to use to keep the grid in balance (conventional versus weather dependent, such as wind or solar) need a reliable numerical weather prediction (NWP) model to ensure grid stability. A statistically significant improvement of the ramp event forecast skill is found through the assimilation of the special WFIP data in two different study areas, and variations in model skill between up‐ramp versus down‐ramp events are found.

Progress toward characterization of the atmospheric boundary layer over northern Alabama using observations by a vertically pointing, S-band profiling radar during VORTEX-Southeast

The spatiotemporal variability of the atmospheric boundary layer regulates the atmosphere's ability to generate and sustain severe thunderstorms. Boundary layer evolution poses significant challenges for numerical weather prediction because both its vertical and horizontal inconsistencies are not handled by most operational models. Using a ground-based vertically pointing radar can reveal additional details about the evolution and character of the boundary layer. Researchers developed an algorithm for observations collected during the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX) by a vertically-pointing radar. The algorithm automatically separated observations of precipitation and non-precipitation, and allows for further identification of important boundary layer features of interest to the VORTEX-SE community.

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