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D. A. Wilhite

Recent droughts, calls for action by regional, national, and international organizations, and the availability of model plans have stimulated considerable activity in the development of drought contingency plans by state government in the United States. In 1982 only three states had prepared formal drought plans; currently 23 states have completed plans. These planning efforts have often been conducted in conjunction with a state's overall water management planning initiative. Clearly, states can now be labeled as policy innovators in the field of drought planning. The atmospheric science community should play a prominent role in the planning process at all levels of government.

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Worth D. Nowlin Jr.

The status of the United States planning activities for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) for 1988 is presented at length in this article. The following six topics are emphasized: 1) Structure and general planning activities; 2) Summary of projected 1988 meetings; 3) Numerical modeling; 4) Data management; 5) Technology development; and 6) Observation and analysis components. Part 6 is divided into eight subsections that include: a) Satellite measurements; b) WOCE Hydrographic Program (WHP); c) Global Sea-Level Program; d) WOCE velocity measurements; e) Core Project 1 surface-layer studies; f) Global atmospheric-ocean exchanges; g) Core Project 3 studies; and h) analysis and interpretation projects.

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Peter E. Kraght

Safety, passenger comfort, and operating economy require that commercial airline flights be preflight planned. There are many route and altitude combinations between origination and destination. Manual selection of the best is tedious, costly in man-hours, and never perfect. A digital computer can do the job quickly, using few man-hours, with a higher order of perfection. American Airlines contracted with IBM to develop jointly a flight planning program for a 60,000 digit IBM 1620 computer. The program was placed into operation on 4 February 1962 and quickly expanded to produce 5000 lines of flight plans for over 200 trips daily. Operating cost savings are on the order of several million dollars annually. The program continuously surrounds an aircraft with a set of prognostic temperatures and winds valid by the craft's clocks at the plane's altitude. The program also selects the optimum route and the optimum altitude profile on the selected route. Flight plans on the optimum route at the optimum altitude are automatically delivered to the flight crew and the controlling dispatchers.

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Stanley A. Changnon Jr. and Richard G. Semonin

Illinois is completing a comprehensive statewide water plan. The plan selects three atmospheric issues, among the 11 identified as key issues facing the state's water resources. The issues selected include climate change and prediction, inadvertent weather and climate modification, and planned weather modification. Each atmospheric issue presents major resource or policy problems, with capabilities needed to enhance the quality and/or quantity of the state's waters. The identification of these atmospheric issues reveals awareness at the policy level of their importance. Policy and programmatic needs found to be common to each issue include 1) collection of more data and continued research (with an increasing state role); 2) coordinated policy development around atmospheric expertise from several agencies and universities; and 3) an expanded public information program. A Climate Detection and Assistance Board is to be established in Illinois to provide the planning, coordination, and assistance needed to address atmospheric issues.

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David O'C. Starr

Plans for an intensive cirrus-cloud field experiment are described. The Cirrus Intensive Field Observations (Cirrus IFO) is a major component of the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) Regional Experiment (FIRE). The field campaign was conducted in Wisconsin during October 1986. Observing systems include satellites, “cloud” lidars, a very high-altitude, satellite-simulator aircraft platform, two research aircraft instrumented for detailed in situ microphysical and radiometric observations, a Doppler lidar, numerous passive surface-radiation sites, and a rawinsonde network. This is the first cirrus experiment involving such a comprehensive observing system.

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John M. Bane, Clinton D. Winant, and James E. Overland

A number of observational programs have been carried out on the United States continental shelf to describe coastal-ocean circulation with emphasis on mesoscale processes. In several of these studies the atmosphere was found to play a central role in determining the coastal circulation through either local or remote forcing. Because of these results, the Coastal Physical Oceanography (CoPO) planning effort has designated three coastal air-sea interaction areas to focus on in a national program to study the physical processes on the continental shelf. These areas are shelf frontogenesis, interaction of stable layers with topography, and forcing by severe storms. The long-term objective of the air-sea interaction component of CoPO is to better understand the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the various mesoscale and synoptic-scale processes that significantly affect coastal/shelf circulation through air-sea interactions. Within this body of knowledge will be an improved quantification of the air-sea exchanges of dynamically important quantities set in the framework of mesoscale and synoptic-scale processes.

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Dian J. Seidel, Franz H. Berger, Howard J. Diamond, John Dykema, David Goodrich, Franz Immler, William Murray, Thomas Peterson, Douglas Sisterson, Michael Sommer, Peter Thorne, Holger Vomel, and Junhong Wang

While the global upper-air observing network has provided useful observations for operational weather forecasting for decades, its measurements lack the accuracy and long-term continuity needed for understanding climate change. Consequently, the scientific community faces uncertainty on key climate issues, such as the nature of temperature trends in the troposphere and stratosphere; the climatology, radiative effects, and hydrological role of water vapor in the upper troposphere and stratosphere; and the vertical profile of changes in atmospheric ozone, aerosols, and other trace constituents. Radiosonde data provide adequate vertical resolution to address these issues, but they have questionable accuracy and time-varying biases due to changing instrumentation and techniques. Although satellite systems provide global coverage, their vertical resolution is sometimes inadequate and they require independent reference observations for sensor and data product validation, and for merging observations from different platforms into homogeneous climate records. To address these shortcomings, and to ensure that future climate records will be more useful than the records to date, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program is initiating a GCOS Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN) to provide high-quality observations using specialized radiosondes and complementary remote sensing profiling instrumentation that can be used for validation. This paper outlines the scientific rationale for GRUAN, its role in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, network requirements and likely instrumentation, management structure, current status, and future plans. It also illustrates the value of prototype reference upper-air observations in constructing climate records and their potential contribution to the Global Space-Based Inter-Calibration System. We invite constructive feedback on the GRUAN concept and the engagement of the scientific community.

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Paul A. Hirschberg, Elliot Abrams, Andrea Bleistein, William Bua, Luca Delle Monache, Thomas W. Dulong, John E. Gaynor, Bob Glahn, Thomas M. Hamill, James A. Hansen, Douglas C. Hilderbrand, Ross N. Hoffman, Betty Hearn Morrow, Brenda Philips, John Sokich, and Neil Stuart

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Weather and Climate Enterprise Strategic Implementation Plan for Generating and Communicating Forecast Uncertainty (the Plan) is summarized. The Plan (available on the AMS website at is based on and intended to provide a foundation for implementing recent recommendations regarding forecast uncertainty by the National Research Council (NRC), AMS, and World Meteorological Organization. It defines a vision, strategic goals, roles and respon- sibilities, and an implementation road map to guide the weather and climate enterprise (the Enterprise) toward routinely providing the nation with comprehensive, skillful, reliable, and useful information about the uncertainty of weather, water, and climate (hydrometeorological) forecasts. Examples are provided describing how hydrometeorological forecast uncertainty information can improve decisions and outcomes in various socioeconomic areas. The implementation road map defines objectives and tasks that the four sectors comprising the Enterprise (i.e., government, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations) should work on in partnership to meet four key, interrelated strategic goals: 1) understand social and physical science aspects of forecast uncertainty; 2) communicate forecast uncertainty information effectively and collaborate with users to assist them in their decision making; 3) generate forecast uncertainty data, products, services, and information; and 4) enable research, development, and operations with necessary information technology and other infrastructure. The Plan endorses the NRC recommendation that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and, in particular, the National Weather Service, should take the lead in motivating and organizing Enterprise resources and expertise in order to reach the Plan's vision and goals and shift the nation successfully toward a greater understanding and use of forecast uncertainty in decision making.

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Steven A. Stage and Robert A. Weller

The Frontal Air-Sea Interaction Experiment (FASINEX) is a study of the response of the upper ocean to atmospheric forcing in the vicinity of an oceanic front in the subtropical convergence zone southwest of Bermuda, the response of the lower atmosphere in that vicinity to the oceanic front, and the associated two-way interaction between ocean and atmosphere. FASINEX is planned for the winter and spring of 1985/86 with an intensive period in February and March 1986 in the vicinity of 27°N, 70°W, where sea-surface-temperature fronts are climatologically common. Measurements will be made from buoys, ships, aircraft, and spacecraft. A previous article gave a brief history of FASINEX and presented its scientific goals. This article describes the FASINEX experimental plan.

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D. H. Lenschow and E. M. Agee

The first field phase of AMTEX was conducted during 14–28 February 1974 in the vicinity of the Southwest Islands of Japan, with the operational control center at Okinawa. Investigators from Japan, Australia, and the United States participated in the experiment. The measurements and synoptic situation during the field program as well as some preliminary results are presented. The weather was characterized by a warm period from 14 to 23 February, followed by a cold period from 24 to 28 February when extensive modification of the continental air took place.

Plans for the 1975 field program, scheduled for 16 February to 3 March, are discussed. No major changes from the 1974 program are expected in 1975.

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