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David Fulker, Sally Bates, and Clifford Jacobs

In initiating the Unidata Program, scientists hoped to meet common needs for accessing and using atmospheric data in education and research using state-of-the-art technology. As communications technologies have advanced, Unidata has increasingly become a “virtual community” in which participants cooperate, collaborate, and share a variety of resources, including data. The Unidata experience—how it resembles and differs from other concepts of location-independent collaborations—may serve as a model for building and supporting communities of researchers and educators with common needs for data and the tools to use them.

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Lynn A. Sherretz and David W. Fulker

The Unidata program is described and the services and benefits it will provide to university educators and researchers are discussed.

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Wan-Cheng Chiu, Andrew Lo, David H. Weidler Jr., and David Fulker

Abstract

Atmospheric wind data obtained from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and from the National Meteorological Center together with sea surface temperature (SST) data at Puerto Chicama (7°42′S, 79°27′W) and Koko Head (21°18′N, 157°52′W) for the period May 1958 to September 1973 were used to test Bjerknes' hypothesis that, through the mechanism of momentum transport, fluctuations of SST in the equatorial eastern Pacific influence the subtropical and middle-latitude atmospheric circulations. Lag cross-correlation coefficients were calculated from the data and their statistical significance tested. The results, confirming earlier work, support the portion of his hypothesis regarding the influence of the equatorial eastern Pacific in the higher latitude atmospheric circulation, but do not support the portion of it suggesting that momentum transport is the agent transmitting the influence.

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Randolph H. Ware, David W. Fulker, Seth A. Stein, David N. Anderson, Susan K. Avery, Richard D. Clark, Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Joachim P. Kuettner, J. Bernard Minster, and Soroosh Sorooshian

“SuomiNet,” a university-based, real-time, national Global Positioning System (GPS) network, is being developed for atmospheric research and education with funding from the National Science Foundation and with cost share from collaborating universities. The network, named to honor meteorological satellite pioneer Verner Suomi, will exploit the recently shown ability of ground-based GPS receivers to make thousands of accurate upper- and lower-atmospheric measurements per day. Phase delays induced in GPS signals by the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere can be measured with high precision simultaneously along a dozen or so GPS ray paths in the field of view. These delays can be converted into integrated water vapor (if surface pressure data or estimates are available) and total electron content (TEC), along each GPS ray path. The resulting continuous, accurate, all-weather, real-time GPS moisture data will help advance university research in mesoscale modeling and data assimilation, severe weather, precipitation, cloud dynamics, regional climate, and hydrology. Similarly, continuous, accurate, all-weather, real-time TEC data have applications in modeling and prediction of severe terrestrial and space weather, detection and forecasting of low-altitude ionospheric scintillation activity and geomagnetic storm effects at ionospheric midlatitudes, and detection of ionospheric effects induced by a variety of geophysical events. SuomiNet data also have potential applications in coastal meteorology, providing ground truth for satellite radiometry, and detection of scintillation associated with atmospheric turbulence in the lower troposphere. The goal of SuomiNet is to make large amounts of spatially and temporally dense GPS-sensed atmospheric data widely available in real time, for academic research and education. Information on participation in SuomiNet is available via www.unidata.ucar.edu/suominet.

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Melanie Wetzel, David Dempsey, Sandra Nilsson, Mohan Ramamurthy, Steve Koch, Jennie Moody, David Knight, Charles Murphy, David Fulker, Mary Marlino, Michael Morgan, Doug Yarger, Dan Vietor, and Greg Cox

An education-oriented workshop for college faculty in the atmospheric and related sciences was held in Boulder, Colorado, during June 1997 by three programs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. The objective of this workshop was to provide faculty with hands-on training in the use of Web-based instructional methods for specific application to the teaching of satellite remote sensing in their subject areas. More than 150 faculty and associated scientists participated, and postworkshop evaluation showed it to have been a very successful integration of information and activities related to computer-based instruction, educational principles, and scientific lectures.

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Kevin E. Kelleher, Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Jason J. Levit, Carl Sinclair, David E. Jahn, Scott D. Hill, Lora Mueller, Grant Qualley, Tim D. Crum, Steven D. Smith, Stephen A. Del Greco, S. Lakshmivarahan, Linda Miller, Mohan Ramamurthy, Ben Domenico, and David W. Fulker
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Kevin E. Kelleher, Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Jason J. Levit, Carl Sinclair, David E. Jahn, Scott D. Hill, Lora Mueller, Grant Qualley, Tim D. Crum, Steven D. Smith, Stephen A. Del Greco, S. Lakshmivarahan, Linda Miller, Mohan Ramamurthy, Ben Domenico, and David W. Fulker

The NOAA NWS announced at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in February 2003 its intent to create an Internet-based pseudo-operational system for delivering Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) Level II data. In April 2004, the NWS deployed the Next-Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) level II central collection functionality and set up a framework for distributing these data. The NWS action was the direct result of a successful joint government, university, and private sector development and test effort called the Collaborative Radar Acquisition Field Test (CRAFT) project. Project CRAFT was a multi-institutional effort among the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the University of Washington, and the three NOAA organizations, National Severe Storms Laboratory, WSR-88D Radar Operations Center (ROC), and National Climatic Data Center. The principal goal of CRAFT was to demonstrate the real-time compression and Internet-based transmission of level II data from all WSR-88D with the vision of an affordable nationwide operational implementation. The initial test bed of six radars located in and around Oklahoma grew to include 64 WSR-88D nationwide before being adopted by the NWS for national implementation. A description of the technical aspects of the award-winning Project CRAFT is given, including data transmission, reliability, latency, compression, archival, data mining, and newly developed visualization and retrieval tools. In addition, challenges encountered in transferring this research project into operations are discussed, along with examples of uses of the data.

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