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May 15, 2020

Talking Tornadoes with a Storm Researcher with Sean Waugh, NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK

Friday, May 15, 2020 @ 11:00 am EDT

Tornadoes occur all over the world and can be among some of the most damaging and destructive natural disasters. Our mission at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is to improve our understanding of tornadoes and all aspects of severe weather. This helps forecasters at the NOAA National Weather Service better predict hazardous weather and issue forecasts, watches and warnings to save lives and reduce property damage. It takes a special team of dedicated researchers and a variety of instrumented vehicles designed just for the job! Talk with a real-life Tornado Scientist, see first hand some of the tools they use to safely study tornadoes, and get your questions answered about the science behind the storm!  (Grades 2-6 but all ages will enjoy)  (image credit: NOAA)


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Congressional Staff Delegation Visits OU Norman

Rep. Frank Lucas and staff from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology visited the OU-Norman campus on March 21st to learn more about OU's research. Click to Read More.


GeoCarb Logo

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma has unveiled a student design to serve as the official logo for the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory science mission. OU College of Law 1st Year student Joshua H. Cole was named winner of the $595 prize in the GeoCarb Logo Contest.

"I am consistently impressed with the talents of OU students, said OU Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs Berrien Moore. "We showed the top 10 logos to the NASA Review board and they could not believe the quality. We could not be prouder of the work done by Joshua Cole and the other students. This project is going to take OU to the next level!”

Cole’s design was selected for demonstrating creativity, uniqueness and outstanding representation of the GeoCarb science mission.
“The University of Oklahoma College of Law is incredibly proud that one of our students, Josh Cole, designed the winning logo for the GeoCarb Mission,” said OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “His design will play a key role in advancing the public’s understanding of this exciting scientific mission. Josh’s innovative mind will undoubtedly one day lead him to success in the legal profession and beyond.”

The GeoCarb logo features a bold scene in space, depicting the process of a satellite flying over North America. The modern style and shape of the logo invoke the imagery of a spaceflight mission patch typically worn by astronauts and mission personnel. Additionally, the design comes together with the iconic OU crimson to accurately express the collaborative element of the mission.

A nine-year, OU-led, $161 million NASA contract, GeoCarb is a first-of-its-kind Earth science mission that will extend our nation’s lead in measuring key carbon-based greenhouse gases and vegetation health from space to advance understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between land, atmosphere and ocean.

For more information, please contact the GeoCarb Science Mission Office at (405) 325-0667 or email

OU SMART Radar Team Deployed to Hurricane Harvey

TX Radar loop

The OU Shared Mobile Atmospheric and Teaching radar team, led by Michael Biggerstaff, OU School of Meteorology, will depart Norman for Corpus Christi, Texas, this afternoon with the mobile C-band dual-polarimetric radar to study the landfall of what will become major Hurricane Harvey. The team will focus on tornadic circulations in the outer rain bands as part of the on-going VORTEX-SE research program objectives, as well as examine the inner core and eyewall circulations that produce inland flooding as part of the NASA Fellowship project.

OU is part of the Digital Hurricane Consortium, which is a group of university and federal government researchers who deploy sensors in advance of landfalling hurricanes. The DHC is part of the federal Disaster Impacts Assessment Plan, which is part of the COASTAL Act that is aimed at better understanding the roles of storm surge and extreme winds on the loss of houses and other buildings in the path of landfalling hurricanes.

The radar truck will be equipped with cameras provided as a result of a recent collaboration between OU, AT&T and The Weather Channel. OU SMART radar team members include Biggerstaff; Addison Alford, OU doctoral student; and Gordon Carrie, OU research associate. The team will be operational by Friday and will provide updates when possible. 

OU CIMMS Announces New Director

Greg McFarquhar

The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and School of Meteorology announce the addition of Dr. Greg McFarquhar to their staffs.

McFarquhar will be the Director of OU CIMMS and School of Meteorology Professor starting this fall. Randy Peppler has been interim director after former OU CIMMS director and Meteorology Professor Dr. Peter Lamb passed away in May 2014.

"We look forward to Greg leading CIMMS in innovative ways in order to help address future NOAA research challenges in weather radar and mesoscale meteorology,” Peppler said.

McFarquhar comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. He has worked at the university since 2001. He has also served as a visiting faculty fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado from 2015 to 2016.

McFarquhar’s PhD and his Masters of Science are in Atmospheric Physics and his Bachelors of Science is in Mathematics and Physics, all from the University of Toronto.

Director of the National Weather Center Dr. Berrien Moore said, “The University of Oklahoma is delighted to have a gifted scientist and extraordinary leader join the OU family as the Director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. The possibilities are endless!”

McFarquhar has been involved with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, the principal investigator for more than 100 different grants and involved in more than 20 field campaigns.

“After being involved in many different projects at other universities and research institutes over the past 25 years investigating the impact of clouds on various weather phenomena, I am looking forward to broadening my horizons with even more exciting work over the next several years at CIMMS and The University of Oklahoma,” McFarquhar said. “I am especially impressed with the credentials of the amazing people already working here. I hope that I can strengthen and improve the existing collaborations and partnerships already, as well as finding new avenues for improving the observation, analysis, understanding and prediction of weather elements and systems.”

CIMMS was established in 1978 as a cooperative program that unites the scientific and technical resources of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and OU into a center of research excellence. CIMMS was created to support NOAA’s Mission of Science, Service and Stewardship and thereby contribute to NOAA’s long-term goal of building a Weather-Ready Nation that is prepared for and responds to weather-related events. CIMMS research areas include weather radar, hydrometeorology, observations and numerical modeling of high-impact weather including severe storms, forecast and warning improvements, regional climate variations, the societal and socioeconomic impacts of weather and climate, and related subject areas.


GeoCarb Rendering

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a five-year, $166 million grant by NASA to advance understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between the land, atmosphere and ocean.

The primary goals of the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory, led by Berrien Moore, OU Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs, are to monitor plant health and vegetation stress throughout the Americas, and to examine the natural sources and processes that control carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in the atmosphere.

“To say this is an extraordinary achievement by Dr. Berrien Moore and our research team is an understatement,” said former OU President David L. Boren. “The grant is one of the most exceptional in the history of the University and is testimony to the outstanding national stature of our research team. I cannot think of a more exciting way to observe the holiday season than with the announcement of this remarkable grant.”

The mission will launch on a commercial communications satellite to make observations over the Americas from an orbit of approximately 22,000 miles above the equator.
The OU-led geoCARB team will build an advanced payload employing otherwise unused launch and spacecraft capacity to advance science and provide societal benefit.
Mission collaborators include the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California; SES Government Solutions Company in Reston, Virginia; the Colorado State University in Fort Collins; and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Colleagues and laboratories from France, Australia and Mexico also are contributing to the project.

The mission was competitively selected from 15 proposals submitted to the agency’s second Earth Venture - Mission announcement of opportunity for small orbital investigations of the Earth system.

Palmer Recognized as Fellow for Contributions to Radar Science


Robert D. Palmer, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma meteorology professor, associate vice president for research and executive director of the Advanced Radar Research Center, has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Fellow. Among a select group of recipients recommended for the prestigious honor, Palmer is being recognized for contributions to atmospheric and meteorological radar science.

"Professor Robert Palmer has brought distinction to the University of Oklahoma in numerous ways: scientifically, academically and through service that reaches a wide array of private and public sector activities. His most recent and great honor of being made a fellow in the institute adds to this record of distinction to OU. We are particularly thrilled since this also brings much deserved distinction to Bob Palmer," said Berrien Moore, vice president for Weather and Climate Programs, director of the National Weather Center and dean of the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.

While at OU, Palmer has been deeply committed to providing students a rigorous education in weather radar. In close collaboration with colleagues in the Norman weather radar community, Palmer led the development of a unique interdisciplinary curriculum in radar meteorology. Soon after joining OU, Palmer established the Advanced Radar Research Center, which is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the world's strongest academic centers in radar meteorology.

In recent years, Palmer has focused on the application of advanced radar signal processing techniques to observations of severe weather, particularly related to phased-array radars and other innovative system designs. He has been published widely in the area of radar remote sensing of the atmosphere, with an emphasis on generalized imaging problems, spatial filter design, and clutter mitigation using advanced array and signal processing techniques.

Palmer, an OU graduate with a doctoral degree in electrical engineering, is actively engaged with his profession through involvement with the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Internationally, he has been committed to the development of a vibrant exchange program with Kyoto University in Japan, focused on studies of the atmosphere using modeling and advanced remote sensing methods. He has received several awards for his research and teaching activities and is an American Meteorological Society Fellow as well.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. Fellow is the highest grade of the institute's membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

Ryzhkov Named AMS Fellow


The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies is proud to announce the American Meteorological Society named an OU CIMMS senior research scientist during a recent release of awards.

Alexander Ryzhkov was one of more than 30 individuals recognized by AMS during a recent announcement of 2018 award winners and fellows. Ryzhkov was awarded the prestigious honor of AMS fellow.

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Honoring the Memory of Ed Kessler


What a huge loss to the weather community. Ed, you are missed and loved! The many following in your footsteps will continue the great work you started here!  

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Congratulations Lance Leslie and Mike Richman!


Congratulations Lance Leslie and Mike Richman 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.

US project looks to develop meteorological-monitoring UAV


The Cloud-Map team, which consists of divisions from the universities of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Nebraska, is looking to create a tailored system for scientists, incorporating different elements of technology team members have previously developed into a low-cost package.The idea is to replace the role that weather balloons have, but in a mobile way so weather can be followed and tracked to better predict when and where it will develop....

Click here for more

National Weather Center Turns Oklahoma Weather Into Art

Dr. Linda Spilker of NASA

The National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, is unveiling a monumental sculpture on February 15, 2017 at 4:00pm. Weathering Oklahoma is a sculpture composed of 77 individual steel plates, cut in the shape of each county in Oklahoma depicting weather variations across the state. The sculpture is about 6 feet tall by over 11 feet wide weighing over 350 pounds.
The artist, Leslie Anne Martin, and her husband, Daniel Martin, traveled across the state, installing the steel plates in each county, to be weathered by Oklahoma’s climate from March-June of 2016. Using Oklahoma Mesonet data, Martin cross referenced how the steel weathered with the varying temperatures, rain totals, and wind speeds.
Oklahomans across the state volunteered to allow Martin to use their property for this project. At the conclusion of the project, the plates were returned to Martin and she reassembled the sculpture.
“This project is fascinating. You can literally see how the weather across Oklahoma is unique from any other place. The forecasters have a very challenging job and we are so grateful for all their hard work to keep us safe,” stated Dr. Berrien Moore, Director of the National Weather Center. “Weathering Oklahoma is a beautiful display of the impacts of weather. What a coo to have this work here!”
The Oklahoma born artist believes that altitude, soil type, wind speed, human contact, and the amount of rain each county received impacted the result of each county. Weathering Oklahoma portrays the magnitude of natural force and celebrates the people who survive and thrive in the rugged and beautiful Oklahoma landscape.
The sculpture reveal will be accompanied by an artist talk and book signing on Wednesday, February 15th from 4:00-5:30 PM at the National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman, OK 73072. Refreshments will be provided.


Have you heard about PECAN?

Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) is a large, intensive field project to collect data before and during nighttime thunderstorms in the Great Plains from June 1 to July 15, 2015. Scientists hope to learn what triggers these storms, how the atmosphere supports their lifecycle, and how they impact lives, property, agriculture and the water budget in the region. PECAN is a research project comprised fourteen universities, eight research groups and three government agencies. 

For more information about this project, click here or search #PECAN15 in Twitter

Carbon-Climate System Workshop

Carbon-Climate System Workshop

15-18 MARCH 2015 - The Carbon-Climate System Workshop in Norman, OK.  A community workshop to review developments in carbon science and identify needed measurements for the coming Decadal Survey process.   Contact Dave Schimel (JPL), Piers Sellers (GSFC) or Berrien Moore III (University of Oklahoma) for more information.  The agenda will be posted here when it is available.  By invitation only.

View PDF

NSSL Celebrates 50 Years

NSSL 50th Logo

On Dec. 3 and 4, the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory was feted with birthday cake, a delectable dinner and numerous scientific talks in honor of the 50th anniversary of the research organization. The impact NSSL has had on the weather industry is vast and incomparable ranging from advancement of the Doppler radar system to air turbulence experiments to development of mobile radar in partnership with OU.

A detailed timeline of major NSSL accomplishments and awards and honors bestowed upon NSSL during its 50 years can be found on the NSSL website, linked below. Please join us in celebrating the past 50 years of critical weather research and looking ahead to another 50 years of success!

NSSL 50th Anniversary

NWC Personnel Teaching in Korea

Hocker Basara KMA

Forecasters at the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) are receiving hands-on training in Dual Polarization Radar from two meteorologists at the National Weather Center - James Hocker (Lead Instructor, Public Safety Outreach Program Manager, OK-First/Oklahoma Mesonet) and Dr. Jeffrey Basara (Associate Professor, OU School of Meteorology and Director of Research, Oklahoma Climatological Survey).

The KMA is in the process of upgrading their current radar network with S-Band dual polarization radars. While the KMA already uses dual-pol technology, training continues to ensure thorough knowledge and understanding. Dr. Kevin Kloesel (OU University Meteorologist) also has spent time teaching forecasters at the KMA.

This particular five-day course (Nov. 17-21) is being delivered through the Office of Weather Programs and Projects (OU) and the Center for Applied Research and Development (OU) to 16 KMA forecasters. Its focus is on the understanding and interpreting dual-pol data, and applying those data to monitor and forecast mesoscale hazardous weather events, including winter weather, heavy rain, hail, and typhoons.

The training is under the continued partnership agreement between KMA and OU.

Dr. Carr Named AMS President

Dr Carr Headshot

Our heartiest congratulations to Dr. Frederick Carr, McCasland Foundation Professor of Meteorology, who has been elected President of the American Meteorological Society for 2015-2018. Dr. Carr has been educating students at OU since 1979. He joins an elite list of past-Presidents and will serve as the third School of Meteorology faculty member to be elected AMS President (Dr. Jeff Kimpel and Dr. Elbert "Joe" Friday).

Congratulations Dr. Carr!

Weathernews Celebrates 10 Years in Oklahoma


Weathernews International marked their 10th anniversary in Oklahoma with a great celebration! Part of the festivities included a ceremonial opening of casks of sake and all guests in attendance participated in toasting the accomplishments of Weathernews in Oklahoma as well as providing best wishes for continued success. We look forward to many more years of partnership with our Research Campus neighbors!

Radar Innovations Laboratory Opens!

RIL Ribbon Cutting

University of Oklahoma officials dedicated the Radar Innovations Laboratory in a public ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 22, on OU’s Research Campus.

The 35,000-square-foot facility encourages creative thinking and collaboration among faculty, students and external partners with a goal of innovating the next-generation radar, microwave electronics and related technologies. 

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AMS Accolades for NWC Personnel

AMS Logo

Recently, the American Meteorological Society announced its 2015 Award Winners, Fellow and Honorary Members. The National Weather Center is proud to boast that faculty, researchers, meteorologists and organizations within the building were among the recipients of these prestigious honors.  See the list of NWC-related winners below.

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Dr. Yoshi Sasaki - 1927-2015


Dr. Yoshi Sasaki, Professor Emeritus and a founder in the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, passed away on March 12, 2015. 

Dr. Sasaki earned a Ph.D. in Science from Tokyo University in 1955. Born in Akita, Japan in 1927, Dr. Sasaki emigrated to the United States after World War II. He moved to the University of Oklahoma in 1960, and helped start the meteorology program. 

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Dr. Ken Crawford - 1943-2014

Ken Crawford

Dr. Ken Crawford, Director Emeritus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Meteorology at OU, passed away on July 23, 2014, at the age of 71.

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Dr. Peter Lamb - 1947-2014

Peter Lamb

Dr. Peter James Lamb, Director of the Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma and George Lynn Cross Research Professor, passed away in his home in Norman, Oklahoma, on May 28, 2014. 

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Research Campus Wins National Award

Research Campus

The University of Oklahoma Research Campus has been named the nation’s top research park for 2013 by the Association of University Research Parks.  The award recognizes the OU Research Campus for excellence in innovation and places it among such past recipients as the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Purdue Research Park in Indiana and University City Science Center in Pennsylvania.

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