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Thomas A. Green Jr., Daniel Leins, Gary M. Lackmann, James Morrow, and Jonathan Blaes

Abstract

Nearly 100 North Carolina State University students have participated in a unique, highly structured internship course conducted by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Raleigh, NC. Here, we explore the impact that this course has had on their professional development and career trajectories. The course has now been running for 17 years, and this paper provides an update on how the course has changed over time, including an evolution of the interview process to participate in the course, the number of students enrolled each semester has systematically been lowered to allow for more individual attention, and additional experiences outside of the WFO have been added. There are benefits for the students, with about half of the students now employed by the NWS, and nearly universal praise for how the course impacted their career progression. The university benefits from the course because the course serves as a compelling selling point for the MEAS department when recruiting students and the department also ensures that the curriculum is adequately preparing potential students for the job market. Finally, the NWS gains by creating a pool of potential employees that will require less spin-up time if hired, and graduates of the NCSU program have gone on to be involved with similar student volunteer programs at their respective offices once hired.

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Emily V. Fischer, Brittany Bloodhart, Kristen Rasmussen, Ilana B. Pollack, Meredith G. Hastings, Erika Marin-Spiotta, Ankur R. Desai, Joshua P. Schwarz, Stephen Nesbitt, and Deanna Hence

Abstract

Sexual harassment in field settings brings unique challenges for prevention and response, as field research occurs outside “typical” workplaces, often in remote locations that create additional safety concerns and new team dynamics. We report on a project that has 1) trained field project participants to recognize, report, and confront sexual harassment, and 2) investigated the perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of field researchers regarding sexual harassment. Pre-campaign surveys from four major, multi-institutional, domestic and international field projects indicate that the majority of sexual harassment reported prior to the field campaigns was hostile work environment harassment, and women were more likely to be the recipients, on average reporting 2-3 incidents each. The majority of those disclosing harassment indicated that they coped with past experiences by avoiding their harasser or downplaying incidents. Of the incidences reported (47) in post-campaign surveys of the four field teams, all fell under the category of hostile work environment and included incidents of verbal, visual, and physical harassment. Women’s harassment experiences were perpetrated by men 100% of the time, and the majority of the perpetrators were in more senior positions than the victims. Men’s harassment experiences were perpetrated by a mix of women and men, and the majority came from those at the same position of seniority. Post-project surveys indicate that the training programs (taking place before the field projects) helped participants come away with more positive than negative emotions and perceptions of the training, the leadership, and their overall experiences on the field campaign.

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Xiaoduo Pan, Xuejun Guo, Xin Li, Xiaolei Niu, Xiaojuan Yang, Min Feng, Tao Che, Rui Jin, Youhua Ran, Jianwen Guo, Xiaoli Hu, and Adan Wu

Capsule

The National Tibetan Plateau Data Center (TPDC, http://data.tpdc.ac.cn) integrates and shares scientific datasets for the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding regions, hosting more than 3500 datasets from a wide range of disciplines. Fifty datasets were highlighted in the article, including an integrated observational dataset collected by the 17 stations of the High-cold Region Observation and Research Network, datasets of the distributions and attributes of permafrost, glacier, snow, and other cryospheric states, a high resolution and long term dataset of the near-surface atmosphere forcing, and datasets collected by scientific expeditions, e.g., the ongoing second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program.

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Olivia VanBuskirk, Paulina Ćwik, Renee A. McPherson, Heather Lazrus, Elinor Martin, Charles Kuster, and Esther Mullens

Abstract

Heavy precipitation events and their associated flooding can have major impacts on communities and stakeholders. There is a lack of knowledge, however, about how stakeholders make decisions at the sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales (i.e., two weeks to three months). To understand how decisions are made and S2S predictions are or can be used, the project team for “Prediction of Rainfall Extremes at Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Periods” (PRES2iP) conducted a two-day workshop in Norman, Oklahoma, during July 2018. The workshop engaged 21 professionals from environmental management and public safety communities across the contiguous United States in activities to understand their needs for S2S predictions of potential extended heavy precipitation events. Discussions and role-playing activities aimed to identify how workshop participants manage uncertainty and define extreme precipitation, the timescales over which they make key decisions, and the types of products they use currently. This collaboration with stakeholders has been an integral part of PRES2iP research and has aimed to foster actionable science. The PRES2iP team is using the information produced from this workshop to inform the development of predictive models for extended heavy precipitation events and to collaboratively design new forecast products with our stakeholders, empowering them to make more-informed decisions about potential extreme precipitation events.

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Dan Fu, Justin Small, Jaison Kurian, Yun Liu, Brian Kauffman, Abishek Gopal, Sanjiv Ramachandran, Zhi Shang, Ping Chang, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Katherine Thayer-Calder, Mariana Vertenstein, Xiaohui Ma, Hengkai Yao, Mingkui Li, Zhao Xu, Xiaopei Lin, Shaoqing Zhang, and Lixin Wu

CAPSULE

A new regional community Earth system model is now publicly available, enabling high-resolution regional coupled simulations for bridging the gap between weather and climate within a widely-used global modeling framework.

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E. RoTimi Ojo and Lynn Manaigre

Abstract

Established primarily to improve weather monitoring across the agricultural regions of the province, the Manitoba Agriculture Weather Program (MAWP) began officially in 2005 with funding from the provincial government for the establishment of a network of 28 automated weather monitoring stations. The network steadily grew to 46 stations between 2007 and 2014 as a result of partnership with local commodity and research groups. In response to the Manitoba flood of 2011, more stations were installed and the network grew to 108 weather stations in 2019. The stations are solar-powered and scheduled maintenance is conducted at each station twice per year. Weather parameters monitored include air temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation, relative humidity, soil moisture, soil temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and wind direction using research-grade sensors. The observations are transmitted via cellular telemetry every 15 minutes in the spring, summer and fall but hourly in the winter to conserve energy supply due to reduced daylight and below freezing temperatures. The data can be viewed by the public within one minute of data collection. It is used to generate agronomic-related maps such as thermal unit computation of growing degree days and corn heat units as well as disease risk maps such as Fusarium Head Blight. Beyond agriculture, the data has been used for aviation investigation and for undergraduate course instruction among other applications.

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Kristen L. Rasmussen, Melissa A. Burt, Angela Rowe, Rebecca Haacker, Deanna Hence, Lorena Medina Luna, Stephen W. Nesbitt, and Julie Maertens

BAMS Capsule

The ASI-FSCA pr 57 ogram allowed graduate students to participate in the RELAMPAGO field campaign and provides a model for improving access to the unique environments in field campaigns.

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Eun-Pa Lim, Harry H. Hendon, Amy H. Butler, David W. J. Thompson, Zachary D. Lawrence, Adam A. Scaife, Theodore G. Shepherd, Inna Polichtchouk, Hisashi Nakamura, Chiaki Kobayashi, Ruth Comer, Lawrence Coy, Andrew Dowdy, Rene D. Garreaud, Paul A. Newman, and Guomin Wang

Abstract

This study offers an overview of the low-frequency (i.e., monthly to seasonal) evolution, dynamics, predictability, and surface impacts of a rare Southern Hemisphere (SH) stratospheric warming that occurred in austral spring 2019. Between late August and mid-September 2019, the stratospheric circumpolar westerly jet weakened rapidly, and Antarctic stratospheric temperatures rose dramatically. The deceleration of the vortex at 10 hPa was as drastic as that of the first-ever-observed major sudden stratospheric warming in the SH during 2002, while the mean Antarctic warming over the course of spring 2019 broke the previous record of 2002 by ∼50% in the midstratosphere. This event was preceded by a poleward shift of the SH polar night jet in the uppermost stratosphere in early winter, which was then followed by record-strong planetary wave-1 activity propagating upward from the troposphere in August that acted to dramatically weaken the polar vortex throughout the depth of the stratosphere. The weakened vortex winds and elevated temperatures moved downward to the surface from mid-October to December, promoting a record strong swing of the southern annular mode (SAM) to its negative phase. This record-negative SAM appeared to be a primary driver of the extreme hot and dry conditions over subtropical eastern Australia that accompanied the severe wildfires that occurred in late spring 2019. State-of-the-art dynamical seasonal forecast systems skillfully predicted the significant vortex weakening of spring 2019 and subsequent development of negative SAM from as early as late July.

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Jordan G. Powers, Kelly K. Werner, David O. Gill, Yuh-Lang Lin, and Russ S. Schumacher

Abstract

The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a numerical weather prediction model supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to a worldwide community of users. In recognition of the growing use of cloud computing, NCAR is now supporting the model in cloud environments. Specifically, NCAR has established WRF setups with select cloud service providers and produced documentation and tutorials on running WRF in the cloud. Described here are considerations in WRF cloud use and the supported resources, which include cloud setups for the WRF system and a cloud-based tool for model code testing.

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Catherine A. Senior, John H. Marsham, Ségolène Berthou, Laura E. Burgin, Sonja S. Folwell, Elizabeth J. Kendon, Cornelia M. Klein, Richard G. Jones, Neha Mittal, David P. Rowell, Lorenzo Tomassini, Théo Vischel, Bernd Becker, Cathryn E. Birch, Julia Crook, Andrew J. Dougill, Declan L. Finney, Richard J. Graham, Neil C. G. Hart, Christopher D. Jack, Lawrence S. Jackson, Rachel James, Bettina Koelle, Herbert Misiani, Brenda Mwalukanga, Douglas J. Parker, Rachel A. Stratton, Christopher M. Taylor, Simon O. Tucker, Caroline M. Wainwright, Richard Washington, and Martin R. Willet

Abstract

Pan-Africa convection-permitting regional climate model simulations have been performed to study the impact of high resolution and the explicit representation of atmospheric moist convection on the present and future climate of Africa. These unique simulations have allowed European and African climate scientists to understand the critical role that the representation of convection plays in the ability of a contemporary climate model to capture climate and climate change, including many impact-relevant aspects such as rainfall variability and extremes. There are significant improvements in not only the small-scale characteristics of rainfall such as its intensity and diurnal cycle, but also in the large-scale circulation. Similarly, effects of explicit convection affect not only projected changes in rainfall extremes, dry spells, and high winds, but also continental-scale circulation and regional rainfall accumulations. The physics underlying such differences are in many cases expected to be relevant to all models that use parameterized convection. In some cases physical understanding of small-scale change means that we can provide regional decision-makers with new scales of information across a range of sectors. We demonstrate the potential value of these simulations both as scientific tools to increase climate process understanding and, when used with other models, for direct user applications. We describe how these ground-breaking simulations have been achieved under the U.K. Government’s Future Climate for Africa Programme. We anticipate a growing number of such simulations, which we advocate should become a routine component of climate projection, and encourage international coordination of such computationally and human-resource expensive simulations as effectively as possible.

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