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Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences News

NSF-supported research at the University of Oklahoma uses supercomputers and simulations to improve storm forecasts

NSF Research

When a hail storm moved through Fort Worth, Texas on May 5, 1995, it battered the highly populated area with hail up to 4 inches in diameter and struck a local outdoor festival known as the Fort Worth Mayfest.

The Mayfest storm was one of the costliest hailstorms in U.S history, causing more than $2 billion in damage and injuring at least 100 people.

Scientists know that storms with a rotating updraft on their southwestern sides -- which are particularly common in the spring on the U.S. southern plains -- are associated with the biggest, most severe tornadoes and also produce a lot of large hail. However, clear ideas on how they form and how to predict these events in advance have proven elusive.

A team based at University of Oklahoma (OU) working on the Severe Hail Analysis, Representation and Prediction (SHARP) project works to solve that mystery, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Read More

Meet the President

Fred Carr

You might know Dr. Fred Carr as a professor, mentor, journal reviewer, chair, committee member, founder, builder, or ski patrolman, but now you can add president to the list.

The 2016-2017 American Meteorological Society President is a big role to fill. Presidents plan the conference, work on membership retention, develop new tactics for weather communications, increase enterprise in the field, work with higher education to develop the next generation of students, and overall strengthen the weather, water, and climate community. This is a role that Dr. Carr doesn’t take lightly. “All of the service and leadership activities I’ve been involved with over the years have given me a greater understanding of everything AMS does and what the Society wants to accomplish. This puts me in a strong position to serve as AMS President,” said Carr.

Carr added, “I would like to be personally involved in increasing our membership, especially among students and young professionals in development activities, in many of the Commission activities, and in planning for the AMS Centennial Celebration.”

Dr. Carr has been with the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology since 1979. In the last thirty-six years, he’s helped the school grow from a faculty of six to the current twenty-four as both director of the school and his current role as the McCasland Foundation Presidential Professor. He has also invested in the lives of many students through the Freshmen Mentoring Program. This program takes about fifteen out-of-state meteorology majors and helps them make friends and get settled in through a variety of different activities during their first semester.

“We are honored to have Dr. Carr in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma! What a great role model for our students and alumni. Dr. Carr will be a wonderful President and we anticipate a great year for AMS!” said Dr. Berrien Moore, Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and Director of the National Weather Center. 

Oklahoma Schools Share $6 Million Award to Develop Weather Drones

The University of Oklahoma is one of four universities that are working together on an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that improve weather forecasting. The $6 million funding comes from the National Science Foundation over the next four years. 

The University of Oklahoma will be supporting this project through its established strengths in meteorology and radar engineering. Small UAS technology enables researchers to explore the region of the atmosphere immediately above the Earth’s surface called the atmospheric boundary layer.  OU has considerable experience in boundary layer meteorology and the addition of small UAS will considerably impact future studies. Additionally, OU will begin to explore the challenging question of how small UAS can be integrated into studying the impacts of climate change on our society. From an engineering side, this project will enable researchers at the University of Oklahoma to continue developing improved methods of detecting and tracking small UAS and efficiently communicating with these aircraft.

“I very am excited to be part of this project because if allows us to fundamentally demonstrate the value of using small UAS to monitor and investigate the lower atmosphere. This research has the potential to be a real game changer for meteorology and weather forecasting.” - Dr. Phil Chilson, professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology & Advanced Radar Research Center.

Congratulations Lance Leslie and Mike Richman

AMS

On your paper co-authored by Hamish A. Ramsay titled Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Predictions Using Optimized Combinations of ENSO Regions: Application to the Coral Sea Basin reaching #1 in J Climate and #3 in all AMS Journals! We are so proud of you!

Click here for the link to the paper.

NWC Research Exploration

Dr. Berrien Moore III, dean of the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences and director of the National Weather Center, discusses how the NWC impacts research and student engagement at The University of Oklahoma.

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