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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

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau, as the world's third pole due to its high altitude, is experiencing rapid, intense climate change, similar to and even far more than that occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic. Scientific data sharing is very important to address the challenges of better understanding the unprecedented changes in the third pole and their impacts on the global environment and humans. The National Tibetan Plateau Data Center (TPDC, http://data.tpdc.ac.cn) is one of the first 20 national data centers endorsed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 2019 and features the most complete scientific data for the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions, hosting more than 3500 datasets in diverse disciplines. Fifty datasets featuring high-mountain observations, land surface parameters, near-surface atmospheric forcing, cryospheric variables, and high profile article-associated data over the Tibetan Plateau, frequently being used to quantify the hydrological cycle and water security, early warning assessments of glacier avalanche disasters, and other geoscience studies on the Tibetan Plateau, are highlighted in this manuscript.

The TPDC provides a cloud-based platform with integrated online data acquisition, quality control, analysis and visualization capability to maximize the efficiency of data sharing. The TPDC shifts from the traditional centralized architecture to a decentralized deployment to effectively connect third pole-related data from other domestic and international data sources. As an embryo of data sharing and management over extreme environment in upcoming “big data” era, the TPDC is dedicated to filling the gaps in data collection, discovery, and consumption in the third pole, facilitating scientific activities, particularly those featuring extensive interdisciplinary data use.

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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

Abstract

The development of high-resolution, fully-coupled, regional Earth system model systems is important for improving our understanding of climate variability, future projections, and extreme events at regional scales. Here we introduce and present an overview of the newly-developed Regional Community Earth System Model (R-CESM). Different from other existing regional climate models, R-CESM is based on the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) framework. We have incorporated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) into CESM2 as additional components. As such, R-CESM can be conveniently used as a regional dynamical downscaling tool for the global CESM solutions or/and as a standalone high-resolution regional coupled model. The user interface of R-CESM follows that of CESM, making it readily accessible to the broader community. Among countless potential applications of R-CESM, we showcase here a few preliminary studies that illustrate its novel aspects and value. These include: 1) assessing the skill of R-CESM in a multi-year, high-resolution, regional coupled simulation of the Gulf of Mexico; 2) examining the impact of WRF and CESM ocean-atmosphere coupling physics on tropical cyclone simulations; and 3) a convection-permitting simulation of submesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions. We also discuss capabilities under development such as i) regional refinement using a high-resolution ROMS nested within global CESM; and ii) “online” coupled data assimilation. Our open-source framework (publicly available at https://github.com/ihesp/rcesm1) can be easily adapted to a broad range of applications that are of interest to the users of CESM, WRF, and ROMS.

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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

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina (ASI-FSCA) program, a 3-week dynamic and collaborative hands-on experience that allowed 16 highly motivated and diverse graduate students from the U.S. to participate in the 2018-19 Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. This program is unique as it represents the first effort to integrate an intensive Advanced Study Institute with a field campaign in atmospheric science. ASI-FSCA activities and successful program outcomes for five key elements are described: (1) Intensive field research with field campaign instrumentation platforms; (2) Recruitment of diverse graduate students who would not otherwise have opportunities to participate in intensive field research; (3) Tailored curriculum focused on scientific understanding of cloud and mesoscale processes and professional/academic development topics; (4) Outreach to local K-12 schools and the general public; and (5) Building a collaborative international research network to promote weather and climate research. These five elements served to increase motivation and improve confidence and self-efficacy of students to participate in scientific research and field work with goals of increasing retention and a sense of belonging in STEM graduate programs and advancing the careers of students from underrepresented groups as evidenced by a formal program evaluation effort. Given the success of the ASI-FSCA program, our team strongly recommends considering this model for expanding the opportunities for a broader and more diverse student community to participate in dynamic and intensive field work in atmospheric science.

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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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Lili Zeng, Gengxin Chen, Ke Huang, Ju Chen, Yunkai He, Fenghua Zhou, Yikai Yang, Zhanlin Liang, Qihua Peng, Rui Shi, Tilak Priyadarshana Gamage, Rongyu Chen, Jian Li, Zhenqiu Zhang, Zewen Wu, Linghui Yu, and Dongxio Wang

Abstract

As an important part of the Indo-pacific warm pool, the Indian Ocean has great significance for research on the Asian monsoon system and global climate change. From the 1960s onwards, several international and regional programs have led to important new insights into the Indian Ocean. The eastern Tropical Indian Ocean Observation Network (TIOON) was established in 2010. The TIOON consists of two parts: large-scope observations and moored measurements. Large-scope observations are performed by the eastern tropical Indian Ocean Comprehensive Experiment Cruise (TIO-CEC). Moored measurements are executed by the TIOON mooring array and the hydrological meteorological buoy. By 2019, ten successful TIOON TIO-CEC voyages had been accomplished, making this mission the most comprehensive scientific investigation in China. The ten years of TIO-CEC voyages have collected approximately 1,006 temperature/salinity profiles, 703 GPS radiosonde profiles and numerous other observations in the Indian Ocean. To supplement the existing buoy array in the Indian Ocean, an enhanced TIOON mooring array consisting of eight sub-thermocline acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) moorings, was established since 2013. The TIOON mooring equipped with both upward-looking and downward-looking WHLS75K ADCP provide valuable current monitoring information to depth of 1,000 m in the Indian Ocean. To improve air-sea interaction monitoring, two real-time hydrological meteorological buoys were launched in 2019 and 2020 in the equatorial Indian Ocean. A better understanding of the Indian Ocean requires continuous and long-term observations. The TIOON program and other aspiring field investigation programs will be promoted in the future.

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Steven Caluwaerts, Sara Top, Thomas Vergauwen, Guy Wauters, Koen De Ridder, Rafiq Hamdi, Bart Mesuere, Bert Van Schaeybroeck, Hendrik Wouters, and Piet Termonia

Abstract

Today, the vast majority of meteorological data are collected in open, rural environments to comply with the standards set by the World Meteorological Organization. However, these traditional networks lack local information that would be of immense value, for example, for studying urban microclimates, evaluating climate adaptation measures, or improving high-resolution numerical weather predictions. Therefore, an urgent need exists for reliable meteorological data in other environments (e.g., cities, lakes, forests) to complement these conventional networks. At present, however, high-accuracy initiatives tend to be limited in space and/or time as a result of the substantial budgetary requirements faced by research teams and operational services. We present a novel approach for addressing the existing observational gaps based on an intense collaboration with high schools. This methodology resulted in the establishment of a regionwide climate monitoring network of 59 accurate weather stations in a wide variety of locations across northern Belgium. The project is also of large societal relevance as it bridges the gap between the youth and atmospheric science. To guarantee a sustainable and mutually valuable collaboration, the schools and their students are involved at all stages, ranging from proposing measurement locations, building the weather stations, and even data analysis. We illustrate how the approach received overwhelming enthusiasm from high schools and students and resulted in a high-accuracy monitoring network with unique locations offering novel insights.

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