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UCAR Update

APRIL 2019


Development of the new NCAR strategic plan continues in earnest with NCAR leadership establishing a Strategic Plan Steering Committee to take the lead in gathering and integrating input from the organization’s staff. When finalized by the end of December, the plan will set the direction for NCAR over the next five years. This follows on the community input gathered at the October UCAR Members Meeting and at the meetings of the AGU and AMS. The plan website has the steering committee roster and a timeline of activities through the end of this year.

On March 11, the White House released the President’s fiscal year 2020 budget request. As with prior years, the budget contains significant cuts in science funding and other non-defense discretionary spending. Also as with prior years, the proposal will encounter considerable alteration in Congress. You will find additional details here.

UCAR hosted a congressional briefing on Forecasting the Road Ahead: Advances in Weather Research and the Transportation Sector on April 3. Panelists Andy Alden (Virginia Tech), Kathy Ahlenius (Wyoming Department of Transportation), John Kwant (Ford Smart Mobility), and Bill Mahoney (NCAR) addressed how weather information is being used to address mobility and safety concerns, including challenges and opportunities with the rise of autonomous and connected vehicles. Some of their remarks are highlighted in this UCAR news release. Video is now available of the November 14 briefing, which addressed coastal impact prediction and featured panelists Kyle Mandli (Columbia University), Sally Yozell (The Stimson Center), and Chris D’Elia (Louisiana State University).

Also in Washington, UCAR staffed an exhibit during a reception to celebrate STEM on the Hill activities and to honor Senators Tim Scott (South Carolina) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) with the George E. Brown Jr. Leadership Award, which they received for their strong support of federal research and STEM public policy.

Back in Colorado, UCAR is exhibiting this week at the 35th Space Symposium, where we are showcasing research at NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory and relevant activities in UCAR’s Unidata, COMET, and COSMIC programs, as well as the organization’s science education programs.

UCAR is pleased to announce the three 2019 awardees of the Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowships for cross-disciplinary heliophysics research. The fellowships are sponsored by the NASA Living with a Star program, with support from UCAR’s Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science. Congratulations to this year’s cohort. Here are their projects and hosting institutions:

Terry (Zixu) Liu
Magnetic reconnection at the foreshock and the space weather effects of the associated accelerated particles. Hosted by Hui Zhang, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

William Longley
Investigating the nonlinear interaction between Landau damping and Coulomb collisions in Geospace plasmas. Hosted by Anthony Chan, Rice University

Erika Palmerio
Understanding the evolution of the space weather drivers at Earth and Mars. Hosted by Christina Lee, University of California, Berkeley.

Antonio J. Busalacchi
UCAR President


In recognition of the passing of organizational colleagues and leaders in our community, we provide links on our website to obituaries as we learn of their deaths. We are sad to report these recent additions:
  • Norman Phillips (Princeton, MIT, NOAA NWS National Meteorological Center [former director], UCAR Science Advisory Committee)
  • John DeLuisi (NCAR Climate Project, NOAA Environmental Research Lab)


Guide to organizing inclusive scientific meetings

New community resource

Scientific meetings often happen outside of our home institutions and provide an additional opportunity to make the culture and practice of science more inclusive. This document presents some concrete recommendations for how to incorporate inclusion and equity practices into scientific meetings, from the ground up. The guide arose from an Aspen Global Change Institute workshop, held at NCAR and led by 500 Women Scientists and the Earth Science Women’s Network with funding by the Heising-Simons Foundation.


▹ Call for Nominations to the UCAR Board & Key Committees

UCAR Governance

UCAR invites the broad research and education community, regardless of affiliation, to submit nominees for positions on the UCAR Board of Trustees, the President's Advisory Committee on University Relations (PACUR), the Membership Committee, and the Members Nominating Committee for election at the 2019 Annual UCAR Members Meeting in October. Submit potential candidates to the Members Nominating Committee by June 7.

Summer 2019 WRF Tutorials

NCAR Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Lab

Tutorials featuring lectures and hands-on practice with the community Weather Research and Forecasting model will be held at NCAR over the following dates:

  • July 15-19 - WRF Basic Tutorial
  • July 22-24 - WRF Data Assimilation Tutorial
  • July 25-26 - WRF Climate Extremes Tutorial

 Space is limited. Register by June 17.

Joint WRF + MPAS Users' Workshop 2019

NCAR Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Lab

Submit an abstract and/or plan to attend this joint workshop at NCAR, June 10-14, for the Weather Research and Forecasting model and the Model for Prediction Across Scales-Atmosphere (MPAS-A), a global nonhydrostatic atmospheric model that has been developed for weather, climate, and regional climate applications.  MPAS-A numerics are essentially those used in WRF-ARW, adapted to a Voronoi mesh, and the model uses a subset of WRF physics. Submit abstracts by April 22. Early registration is open until May 20.


2019 EarthCube Annual Meeting

UCAR Unidata

EarthCube welcomes project participants, new PIs, early career researchers and scientists, and all other interested parties to the 2019 annual meeting, June 12-14 in Denver. The event provides a critical opportunity to make connections, communicate advances, and help plan the future of EarthCube. Submit abstracts by April 19. Early registration is open until May 1.

▹ Building Interannual to Decadal Prediction/Projection Capability for Decision Support

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This exploratory workshop, June 5-6 in College Park, Maryland, will discuss the need for coordinated updating of physical Earth system predictions to support a wide range of long-term decisions; the effort may draw on multi-agency expertise and existing or emerging capabilities.The workshop will serve as a foundation for continued information exchange leading to a unified, reliable, and actionable prediction capability and is intended to build on the work of agencies involved in the USGCRP and US CLIVAR. Free registration.

Air-Sea Interactions Tropical Oceans Workshop

US Climate Variability and Predictability Program (US CLIVAR)

This workshop, May 7-9 on UCAR's Center Green campus in Boulder, will help the tropical convection and air-sea interaction communities strategize for effective use of these advanced technologies to address critical scientific issues in a way that contributes to and leverages ongoing and upcoming broader community activities. Registration is open until capacity is reached or April 26, whichever comes first.

17th JCSDA Technical Review Meeting & Science Workshop

Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA)

This event, May 29-31 in Washington, D.C., facilitates coordination and assessment of current and planned scientific development. Scientists and managers from all of the JCSDA partners participate through formal presentations and informal scientific discussions, and the results are used to plan future efforts. Registration required by May 29.


Basic Satellite and NWP Integration

It is important for forecasters to identify when and where NWP output isn't matching reality. This lesson focuses on using satellite imagery to help identify mismatched features between the satellite imagery and NWP output.

Leveraging Social Science to Improve Risk Communications

Decision support for a spectrum of end users requires that the NWS will use social science findings and practices as a guide for making its products more accessible and effective. This lesson will focus on effective messaging when communicating weather hazards.

Interpreting and Communicating EPS Guidance: Germany Winter Event

This lesson introduces the benefits of using probabilistic forecast information to assess weather and communicate forecast uncertainties using a winter weather event in Germany. It is another component of the Forecast Uncertainty: EPS Products, Interpretation, and Communication distance learning course.

Frontal Diagnosis 1

This is the first lesson in a two-part series that addresses three types of cold fronts and how to diagnose them. It first investigates the types of fronts that are commonly analyzed, then addresses two types of cold fronts: classic (stacked) and katabatic.

Frontal Diagnosis 2

This is a second lesson in a two-part series that addresses three types of cold fronts and how to diagnose them using satellite imagery. It addresses the characteristics of anabatic cold fronts and identifies the main characteristics of anabatic and katabatic fronts..

Introduction to Modifying NWP Output

This is the first in a series of video lessons that introduces three methods for modifying NWP output to add human value to forecasts. It discusses appropriate methods for finding mismatches between surface observations to NWP output.

NWP Comparisons: Total-column Variables

This is the second in a series of video lessons that introduces three methods for modifying NWP output to add human value to forecasts. It addresses appropriate methods for using total-column variables to find mismatches between observed weather and NWP output.

Adjusting NWP: Direct Comparison

This is the third in a series of video lessons that introduces three methods for modifying NWP output to add human value to forecasts. it addresses methods for making comparisons between satellite data and NWP output.

Introduction to PV

This is the fourth in a series of video lessons that introduces three methods for modifying NWP output to add human value to forecasts. It answers some of the common questions about PV as a product.

PV Modification

This is the fifth in a series of video lessons that introduces three methods for modifying NWP output to add human value to forecasts. It discusses how to modify the PV surface to match water vapor imagery and how those adjustments affect the surface sensible weather.

Instrumentation and Measurement of Wind

This lesson summarizes the science and techniques used to measure atmospheric wind. It presents an overview of the main sensor types for wind and discusses which sensors might be best for particular applications.

Satellite Foundational Course for JPSS: SatFC-J (SHyMet Full Course Access)

This course is a series of short lessons focused on topics related to microwave remote sensing and Joint Polar Satellite System instruments and capabilities. This link provides access to the full set of course lessons, which were developed for National Weather Service forecasters but can be accessed by non-NOAA employees who register.

New Translations


SatFC-G: Bandas do Visível e Infravermelho Próximo

SatFC-G; Visible and Near-IR Bands (also available in Spanish)

GOES-R GLM (Geostationary Lightning Mapper): ejemplos norteamericanos
GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) North America Examples

Caso de estudio y ejercicio sobre el GOES-16: la granizada del 8 de mayo de 2017 en Colorado

GOES-16 Case Exercise: 8 May 2017 Colorado Hail Event


L’interprétation et la communication de données issues d’un SPE : tempête hivernale en Colombie-Britannique

Interpreting and Communicating EPS Guidance: British Columbia Winter Storm
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Ralph Cicerone Grad Student Fellowship
Application Deadline: April 15

UCAR Next Generation Fellowships
Application Deadline: June 3

NOAA/NCEP Research Collaboration Opportunities - Request for Proposals
Applications accepted on a rolling basis


Find paid positions and opportunities for scientific visits, fellowships, and internships with NCAR and with UCAR's community programs. You can also sign up on our opportunities website to participate in UCAR OppsList, the community information exchange of and by more than 750 subscribers in the broad Earth system science community.


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