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Fall 2020 News

September 17, 2020

How Do Weather Forecasters Communicate Risk Before, During, and After Extreme Weather Events?

Screenshot from NOAA's Hazardous Weather Testbed
NOAA's Hazardous Weather Testbed

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma’s National Institute for Risk and Resilience, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and the National Severe Storms Lab recently conducted a transdisciplinary experiment exploring the effect of social and behavioral data on how weather forecasters communicate risk before, during, and after extreme weather events.

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September 17, 2020

OU Researchers Collect Data From Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally radar image depicting a vertical slice, including blue, green, and red coloration.
Hurricane Sally radar image

University of Oklahoma scientists led by Michael Biggerstaff, OU School of Meteorology professor, deployed a Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) weather radar south of Mobile, Alabama, in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Sally. There they measured the structure of the winds in the hurricane boundary layer, the lowest mile of air above the ground.

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September 14, 2020

Undergraduate Research Assistant Publishes First-Authored Paper

Ariel Jacobs, CASS Undergraduate Research Assistant
Ariel Jacobs, CASS UGRA

Congratulations to Undergraduate Research Assistant Ariel Jacobs, who published her first-authored paper, "The Effect of Climatological Variables on Future UAS-Based Atmospheric Profiling in the Lower Atmosphere."  Click below to access the article, and learn more about what CASS is currently researching by visiting their Twitter.

Article                                                                     OU CASS Twitter

September 12, 2020

SOM Faculty Member Leads Development of Probabilistic Precipitation Retrievals

Dr. Pierre Kirstetter
Dr. Pierre Kirstetter

OU School of Meteorology faculty member Dr. Pierre Kirstetter is leading the development of probabilistic precipitation retrievals for hazard applications in the National Weather Service.  Progress in precipitation science and applications is critical to advancing weather and water budget studies and to predicting natural hazards caused by extreme events, from local to global scales. It requires more than just one deterministic precipitation “best estimate” to adequately cope with the intermittent, highly skewed distribution that characterizes precipitation. Probabilistic Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (PQPE) is an approach that integrates remote sensing, meteorology, hydrology, and artificial intelligence to advance precipitation estimation, processes understanding, and applications.

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September 11, 2020

Improving Understanding of Climate Change Through Cloud Formation

Greg McFarquhar stands on the deck of a research ship.
Greg McFarquhar, Director of CIMMS

Greg McFarquhar, the director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and a professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, will lead a three-year project funded by a $689,082 grant from the Department of Energy. The project uses unique sets of data collected in polar regions that give information on the small-scale properties of aerosols and clouds, data that will provide better insight into weather prediction models.

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August 27, 2020

OU Researchers Travel to the Gulf of Mexico to Intercept Hurricane Laura

OU and NOAA personnel stand in front of radar trucks at the National Weather Center.
OU & NOAA Researchers

A team of research scientists from the University of Oklahoma and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory have traveled to Texas near the Gulf of Mexico to collect data during the landfall of Hurricane Laura.

The data collected will allow for a better understanding of hurricane winds and the damage they cause. This knowledge will aid in the development of cost-effective building codes to lessen future damage, provide more data to improve other infrastructure, and increase storm resilience.

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August 26, 2020

OU Receives $20 Million Grant to Lead Inaugural National Science Foundation Artificial Intelligence Institute

Dr. Amy McGovern pictured in front of the National Weather Center Science on a Sphere.
Dr. Amy McGovern

The University of Oklahoma is leading a National Science Foundation AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography that is being hailed as a “historic milestone in environmental science.”

NSF recently announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish five AI Institutes to support research and education hubs nationwide. Amy McGovern, an OU professor with dual appointments in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering and in the School of Meteorology in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, will lead the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, which received $20 million of the NSF funding.

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August 19, 2020

OU and OSU Take Off to Support Atmospheric Research

A CASS quadcopter drone
A CASS quadcopter drone

During August 2020, teams from the University of Oklahoma (OU) Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling (CASS) and the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) joined forces at OU’s Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station (KAEFS) to conduct innovative atmospheric research using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, which could lead to improved weather forecasts. Both the OU and OSU teams are developing and testing state-of-the-art UAS, instrumented with meteorological sensors designed to collect precision atmospheric data in the Earth’s lower atmosphere, which can be ingested by weather forecast models. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the scientists and engineers from CASS and USRI were able to maintain safe practices and socially distance as they worked to together to push the envelope of UAS atmospheric research. 

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August 14, 2020

Welcome Letter from Dean Berrien Moore

Dean Berrien Moore III
Dean Berrien Moore III

Dear A&GS Friends, Students, Staff, Faculty, and NWC Colleagues--

As we together return to campus for the 2020-2021 Academic Year, OU and the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences (A&GS) remain committed to safety, inclusivity, intellectual growth, and excellence. Even in these trying times, A&GS faculty and staff are committed to making this academic year a fun and rewarding experience for our students.

Our College is unique in that one of our main two academic buildings is the National Weather Center (NWC), a shared facility with NOAA federal partners and several OU and State operational and research units. This adds a bit of “complexity” in safety planning, but “complexity” is not new to A&GS students.

In the COVID-19 environment, A&GS and NWC leaders have focused, particularly and appropriately, on the safety of our students, staff, faculty, and the NWC Community. This is of utmost importance. I should add that this leadership team was enriched by the new leadership of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability (Chair Professor Scott Greene and Associate Chair Bruce Hoagland).

This leadership team has worked diligently on a path forward with a particular focus on NWC specific policies and procedures for the safety of all. We have encapsulated these policies and procedures into a living document that gives guidance to this path. This document (pdf) builds upon and is consistent with OU policies and procedures; it is also sensitive to NOAA and State guidelines. As the environment changes, this document will change as needed. We will be actively watching and planning to help overcome the hurdles of the evolving and changing COVID-19 pandemic. Together we will navigate the paths going forward.

Again, we are all in this together, and we will prevail together. 

Boomer Sooner

Berrien Moore III
Dean A&GS
Director NWC

Spring 2021 News