New York Times article: Forecasters Face Loss of Data as Weather Balloon Flights Are Cut, https://nyti.ms/3uVqeIv, published 5 April 2022.
The National Weather Service has cut back on weather balloon launches at some of its sites because of shortages of hydrogen and helium used to lift them, potentially affecting forecasts and weather and climate research.
The cutbacks, coupled with the closing of a launch site on Cape Cod last year that has yet to reopen, could especially affect forecasting in the New York-New England area, some scientists said.
“We can’t go back and get that data,” said Sandra Yuter, a professor at North Carolina State University and an expert on remote sensing of meteorological data. “We’re going to have big gaps.”
Dr. Yuter said the cutbacks showed that the weather service was not placing high enough priority on weather balloons, which have been a staple of the agency’s observations for nearly a century.
Dr. Yuter said that balloon data helps scientists understand the structure of the atmosphere and “feeds into our understanding of what will happen as the climate changes.”
During January 2022, group members Matthew Miller, Kevin Burris, Luke Allen, Laura Tomkins, and Sandra Yuter all had key roles in the NASA Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) field program.
An article about the research flight on 29 Jan 2022 during an east coast blizzard was published in Popular Science.
Our research utilizing a relational database of matched weather forecasts and observations has been published in the AGU journal Geophysics Research Letters. (link to article)
We evaluated the output from weather forecast models compared to observations at 210 airports across the United States during the November 2019 to March 2020 winter season. We focused on near-surface air temperature errors in the Global Forecast System (GFS) and High- Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather models for different times of day and subsets of observed weather conditions. The GFS is 1°C too warm at night and 2°C too cold during the day in conditions with <= 50% and <= 25% cloud cover. The daily high and low temperatures have smaller errors in the HRRR model, which has different algorithms than the GFS model. Model refinement and development efforts would benefit from a focus on accurate representation of the diurnal cycle of temperatures as this basic characteristic of weather can reveal strengths and weaknesses in the model physics.
Continue reading “Diurnal Cycle of Winter Season Temperature Errors paper published in GRL”
Laura Kent celebrates her successful oral defense on 5 August 2021 of her Master’s thesis “Multi-year Analysis of Ice Streamers Within Coastal Northeast US Winter Storms”.
Environment Analytics group’s highlighted in NCSU Partnerships story.
Distinguished Professor Sandra Yuter has been elected to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Board of Trustees for a 3-year term starting in February 2021. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado as well as community programs focused on earth observations and data services (UNIDATA and COSMIC), education and training (GLOBE, SciEd, COMET), research to operations (JCSDA), and scientific partnerships (CPAESS).
Environment Analytics research group’s work was featured in a NASA Image of the Day “Nighttime Waves Over the South Atlantic”
During January and February 2020, group members Matthew Miller, Sandra Yuter, Laura Tomkins, Ronak Patel, and Daniel Hueholt will spend time at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia supporting mission science and forecasting for the NASA Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) field program. Matthew Miller will also go to Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia to work in mission science support for the NASA ER-2 aircraft. Image: Meteorology majors Daniel Hueholt and Ronak Patel standing in front of the P3 research aircraft at NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility. Both students did winter storm forecasting and P3 aircraft data collection for the NASA IMPACTS field program.
Spencer Rhodes celebrates with cake on 30 October 2019 after his successful oral defense of his Master’s Thesis “Large-scale environments associated with southeast Atlantic marine stratocumulus cloud-eroding boundaries”.
Laura Tomkins and Spencer Rhodes in Savannah, Georgia for the AMS Mesoscale Conference.
Group members presented their research at two conferences in July.
Matthew Miller presented a poster on the influence of gravity waves on clouds and precipitation at the Gordon Research Conference on Climate and Radiation in Lewiston, ME.
At the 18th AMS Mesoscale Processes Conference, Spencer Rhodes and Laura Tomkins presented talks describing their respective M.S. thesis research on cloud-eroding boundaries in the southeast Atlantic. Sandra Yuter presented a talk on local environments for ice growth in storms.