ESRL Global Systems Division

Headlines Archive 1997 - 2000

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Agreement with Korean Meteorological Administration
FSL's International Division is working with the Korean Meteorological Administration to develop a nowcasting system to support weather forecasting operations in Korea.

FSL's Jenny Martinez named NOAA Research Employee of the Year (NOAA 2000-524)
NOAA announces seven FY2000 Employees of the Year.

Congratulations to the Aviation Weather Reserach Program (AWRP)
The AWRP's Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) has been selected as a winner of a 2000 Government Technology Leadership Award.

Congratulations to FSL's NOAA Research Employee of the Year
OAR's Personnel Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) has announced its selections for the fiscal year 2000 NOAA Research Employees of the Year. Included among the award recipients is FSL's Secretary to the Director, Ms. Jenny Martinez. Congratulations, Jenny!

Weather Research Supercomputer Unveiled
FSL will be holding a press conference on Wednesday, April 26, 2000 to announce the launch of "jet", FSL's new supercomputer. Find more details from the LinuxPR web site.

New Division Chief for FSL's Forecast Research Division
A new Division Chief has been named for the Forecast Research Division. Dr. Steven Koch will begin his duties on July 3rd. The following is a brief biography for Dr. Koch.

Dr. Steven Koch is currently (August 1993 - current) an Associate Professor at the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr Koch received his PhD in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. For 13 years (1980-1993) he was a Meteorologist at the Laboratory for Atmospheres, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr Koch has published in the Monthly Weather Review, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, Journal of Applied Meteorology, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Weather and Forecasting, Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, and the National Weather Digest. Dr Koch has worked in data assimilation, numerical weather prediction and mesoscale meteorology.

Innovative Aviation Website Now Provides User-Friendly Graphic Forecasts (NOAA 2000-214)
Accurate and timely weather information is critical to pilots, airline dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and weather forecasters. Now advisory forecasts of turbulence, icing, thunderstorms and other aviation weather hazards are easily available via the Aviation Digital Data Service and the Internet.

More FSL Award Winners
Congratulations to FSL staff for the following awards:

  • the AWIPS Project Management Group (Denny Walts, Carl Bullock, Darien Davis, Joe Wakefield, and Herb Grote), representing the entire FSL AWIPS Team - DoC Gold Medal;
  • Bob Clark and Brian Moore - representing FSL on the NOAA - Boulder Networking Group - DoC Bronze Medal;
  • Rhonda Lange - representing FSL on the DSRC Common Space Committee - DoC Bronze Medal;
  • Demonstration Division staff (Margot Ackley, Russ Chadwick, Seth Gutman, Kirk Holub, and Nicole Radziwill) - representing the Maritime Differential GPS Service Team/Nationwide Differential GPS Team - Hammer Award;
  • Jim Holitza and Sandi Aschert - representing FSL on the NOAA Transition Team - Certificate of Appreciation;
  • FSL - ComputerWorld Smithsonian Laureate 1999 Award - for the development of AWIPS.

Award to NOAA - Boulder Networking Group
The Department of Commerce Bronze Medal award proposed for the primary members of the NOAA - Boulder Networking Group responsible for the David Skaggs Research Center building network has been approved. Three members of that group are Bob Clark and Brian Moore of FSL and Jerry Janssen, formerly of FSL. Everyone will receive an individual medal. The award ceremony will be in Washington DC on December 14th, 1999. Congratulations to Bob, Brian, and Jerry!

Congratulations to FSL's Web Awards Winners
At the FSL all-hands meeting on September 9, 1999, the first ever FSL Web Awards winners were announced. The categories and winners in each category were: Most Improved Demonstration Division Homepage Best Appearence The International Division Homepage Best Product The ADDS page Best Electronic Presentation Satellite Page Best Internal Use FICS Product Monitor (restricted to FSL) Our congratulations to the web authors whose work has been recognized with these awards.

FSL Acquires Supercomputer (NOAA 99-060)
One of the fastest computer systems in the world has just been acquired by the Forecast Systems Lab to help further improve existing weather forecast models and develop new ones, Department of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley has announced. Visit the Aviation Division's High Performance Computing System pages for more information. A follow-up announcement was released 26 Apr 00.

1998-99 FSL In Review Available
The 1998 - 99 FSL in Review publication is now available on the Web.

Job Opening for Chief of the Forecast Research Division (FRD)
Background information is now available for the position of Chief of the Forecast Research Division of the Forescast Systems Lab.

DSRC Open House
A public Open House is scheduled for the new David Skaggs Research Center this Saturday, July 10, 1999 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Neighbors, friends, employees and their families are invited to visit the new building. Activities include guided tours, refreshments, videos, exhibits, and hand-outs.

FSL Scientific and Technical Review Agenda Set
The agenda for the FSL Review, scheduled for July 20-21, 1999 is now available.

Daily Camera Article Recognizes FSL Contribution to AWIPS
Following up on the recent Computerworld Smithsonian Institution Award to AWIPS, Boulder's local newspaper, the Daily Camera , ran a story on FSL's contribution to the AWIPS program.

AWIPS Awards
FSL director Dr. Sandy MacDonald reported that AWIPS has won its category, "Environment, Energy, and Agriculture," in the recent Computerworld Smithsonian Institution Awards for best and most innovative technology. The accompanying write up notes that FSL and D2D were significant factors in the award. Visit the Computerworld Smithsonian Program's 1999 Briefing Room to access the case study for the Award (follow the "View the 1999 Finalists" link).

FSL's ACARS site displays weather data from commercial aircraft.
Check out weather data from commercial aircraft at the ACARS web site. Real-time data is restricted, however demonstration displays (java and non-java) are available to all, as are a new Frequently Asked Questions page and a conference paper on using ACARS data to forecast convective storms.

OAR Awards to FSL Colleagues
The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in NOAA has announced the OAR Bronze Medal Awards. Among the recipients was a team from FSL responsible for development of the Rapid Update Cycle, Version 2 (RUC-2), an hourly analysis and prediction system, and its implementation into operations at NCEP. The RUC-2 is superior to the previous version in several aspects: frequency of assimilation (hourly instead of three-hourly), spatial resolution (40 km and 40 levels in the vertical instead of 60 km and 25 levels), sophistication of model physics, and overall performance.

The government employees receiving this award are Stan Benjamin, John Brown, Barry Schwartz, and Tom Schlatter from FSL and Lauren Morone and Geoff DiMego from NCEP. Equal contributions to the RUC-2 development and implementation were made by their colleagues, working through NOAA Cooperative Institutes: Kevin Brundage (CIRA), Tracy Lorraine Smith (CIRA), and Tanya Smirnova (CIRES). They deserve equal credit for this award. Congratulations to everyone.

Outstanding Scientific Paper Award
Dr. Gerald Browning has recently received the Environmental Research Laboratories' Outstanding Scientific Paper Award for the following work:

    Browning, G.L. and H.O. Kreiss, "The Role of Gravity Waves in Slowly Varying in Time Mesoscale Motions," Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , 54, 9 1166 - 1184 (1997).
Building Dedication
The new federal building, named in honor of retiring Congressman David Skaggs, was officially dedicated today.

NOAA Public Domain Photograph Collection
Check out NOAA's collection of contemporary and historical photographs covering a wide range of subjects. Images include weather phenomena, marine life, instrumentation, ocean scenes, moments from NOAA history and more. Links to the page can be reached from the Related Sites link from either the FSL Home Page or the Visitor and Information Services page. The NOAA photo site can also be reached from the FSL web authors' repository of resources page from the FSL Intranet (restricted to FSL only).

GOES 8 and GOES 10 Satellite Loops
GOES 8 and 10 satellite loops in the native satellite view are now available from the Current Weather page. All 5 channels are available for each of these satellites.

Zoomable Skew-T plot Now Available
A zoomable skew-t plot is now available on the web to display RAOBs and MAPS (RUC-2) analysis and forecast soundings. (This is an upgrade to a previous version, so you may have to use shift- reload in Netscape to clear the old version from your browser.) The properties of this java applet are as follows:

  • data can be displayed up to 10 mb.
  • the plot can be zoomed (by dragging the mouse) to clarify r egions of particular interest.
  • the plot includes a hodograph and a wind speed vs. altitude plot
  • multiple soundings can be overlaid
  • the thermodynamic variables Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), Convective Inhibition (CIN), Precipitable Water and Helicity are indicated (for MAPS/RUC-2 soundings only)
MAPS/RUC-2 soundings are available for approximately the past 16 hours, and for intermittent hours out to 36 hours into the future. RAOB soundings are available for approximately the past two years.

Bill Moninger to Give Environmental Technology Laboratory Seminar
On Monday, September 14, 1998, from 10 - 11am, Bill Moninger will speak on The Internet and the Relaxation of Structure. This will be a look at how society is shaping, and being shaped by, the internet. FSLers are cordially invited to attend.

36-h MAPS Forecasts Updated 4 Times Daily
The 40-km MAPS model is now being run out to 36 h every 6 hours. Products from these runs (at 24 h and 36 h) are available at by selecting the "all times" button for any field.

MAPS (RUC-2) Forecast Soundings Now Available
Forecast and analysis soundings at any METAR site in the MAPS domain are now available from FSL's MAPS model. This is the same model that is implemented as the RUC-2 at NCEP. Analyses are available for the past 16 hours, and forecasts are available up to 12 hours into the future.

A java-aware browser is required. The java code allows you to quickly review soundings that have previously been loaded, facilitating the comparison of multiple soundings.

Check Out the NEW Quality Control and Monitoring System (QCMS) Home Page
The Quality Control and Monitoring System is being developed at the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory to supply end-users and suppliers of hydrometeorological observations with readily-available quality control information and statistics.

FSL Scientist to Give Inaugural Presentation
On Wed, May 27, Bill Moninger will give the inaugural presentation at an NCAR seminar series on "The Impact of the Internet on the World," sponsored by NCAR's Digital Information Group. The title of Bill's talk is The Internet and the Relaxation of Structure.

Civil Servants Par Excellence
From the Washington Post
Stephen Barr - Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 6, 1998

287 Top Federal Professionals Recognized and Rewarded

Vice President Gore saluted the government's senior career executives before a crowd of about 2,000 at Constitution Hall yesterday. The ceremony honored the recipients of the Presidential Rank Awards, a program that recognizes career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) who demonstrated exceptional performance over time and received outstanding job evaluations over at least three years. Sixty-three of the award winners were designated "Distinguished Executives," and received a cash award, while 224 winners were named "meritorious" career senior officials, and also received a cash award.

From OAR Headquarters- Washington, DC

Dr. Alexander E. "Sandy" MacDonald is nominated for the rank of "Distinguished Executive" in recognition of his outstanding leadership in developing and transferring meteorological systems from research to operational use, of his vision and skill in developing and managing a first class research laboratory, and of his personal initiative in transforming the international educational ideas of Vice President Gore into a concrete global concept for environmental education.

Commerce Secretary Approves Full Production of Advanced Weather Interactive Processing Systems (AWIPS) for National Weather Service Offices
Check out our News Releases page for the full text of the NOAA press release announcing production of AWIPS, a critical component in the modernatization of the National Weather Service. FSL's Modernization Division works closely with the NWS, particularly on the development of the AWIPS system.

RUC2 Implemented at NCEP
The long awaited implementation of RUC2 at NCEP finally occurred on Monday, April 6. The original RUC upper air model runs were discontinued at that time.

New Capabilities for Looking at 40km MAPS Data:
Some nice new capabilities for looking at 40km MAPS data have been added to the MAPS/RUC homepage. These include:

  • loops of selected fields at 1-h frequency up to 48 h long;
  • interactive sounding capability with any online analyses (currently about over the last 16 h);
  • turbulence diagnostics at flight levels from 1000 to 45000 ft.

View Real-Time PIREP Reports:
A java applet for viewing real-time PIREP reports is now available. The web page and applets have been developed by the Aviation Systems Development and Deployment (ASDAD) Branch, showing the work that is being accomplished by ASDAD in support of the Aviation Gridded Forecast Systems project. We work as a team in design and development efforts. Kris Thompson is currently the lead web page developer and Young Chun is currently the lead applet developer.

Thanks to Kevin Brundage, Bill Moninger, and Adrian Marroquin of FSL for their work on setting these up. We will be working on expanding to additional fields/grids over the next couple of months.

FSL Participating in Test of NOAA's New GOES-10 Satellite:
The FSL satellite image looper is now displaying data from GOES-10, which is currently running in rapid-scan mode (10 images per hour). GOES-10 provides greater coverage of the Pacific ocean off the Southern California coast than GOES-8. This test of GOES-10 is scheduled to run through April 12.

FSL's EEO Page:
Take a look at FSL's new EEO page, linked from the FSL Organization and Personnel page. 25-Mar-1988

New Weather Pages:
FSL has a new set of weather pages, which may be accessed from the main FSL web page via the 'Current Weather' link, or directly at: Please address any comments about these pages to FSL's World Wide Web Working Group. 13-Mar-1988

Turbulence Product Discussion Forum:
Visit FSL's new Turbulence Forecast Product Discussion Forum and let us know your thoughts about the tke product. You can also read and respond to other user's comments.

Turbulence Product Now Using FSL's RUC-2 Model:
The turbulent kinetic energy (tke) product now bases its forecasts on FSL's Regional Analysis and Prediction (MAPS) branch's RUC-2 model data.

Turbulence Product Display Can Now be Zoomed:
The turbulent kinetic energy (tke) product display now supports a zoom feature. In addition to being able to select the zoom factor, you can also enter a latitude and longitude for centering the zoom.

New Microburst Web Page:
Take a look at our new Microburst web page. This page is being developed by Fernando Caracena of FSL's Meteoroglical Applications Branch.

Bronze Medal Winner: Congratulations to John Snook and FSL. John was one of about 12 people who received a Bronze Medal for the NWS support of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. John was the only FSL person to be included among the award winners. This award is a tribute to both John and all in FSL who contributed to this effort.

FSL Presentations at the NOAA Web Workshop: FSL was reprsented at the 3rd Annual NOAA Web Workshop by Lonnie Manynard, Brian Moore, and Bill Moninger. On-line abstracts are available for Lonnie's talk on FSL's Facility Information and Control System and Brian's presentation on Monitoring the FSL Computer Network . The full text of Bill's paper, Presenting Interactive Satellite Image Loops using Java, IDL, Perl, C, and Fortran is also available.

METAR now available: METAR (surface weather information) can now be displayed on the web, via a new java applet. This applet shows data from all reporting METARs in the continental US and parts of Mexico and Canada. Temperatures and winds are shown on a plan view of the US by colors and wind barbs. The full raw METAR report appears if a station is clicked on with the mouse. The user can zoom and roam over the map, and choose to display only reports in a certain temperature range. Counties and rivers can also be plotted.

A new Visitor and Information Services page: Take a look at FSL's new Visitor and Information Services web page.

Expanded Analysis of the 10 July 1997 American Airlines Turbulence Event: Adrian Marroquin of FSL's Meteorological Applications Branch (MAB) has expanded his analysis of an American Airlines 757's encounter with strong turbulence over western North Dakota. Satellite and radar images and surface analyses are presented along with additional horizontal cross sections of FSL's experimental turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) forecast products.

A new International Programs page: Check out FSL's new International Programs web page. This page has information on the GLOBE, Central Weather Bureau, and FX Net programs.

Large, 5-km resolution visible satellite loops are now available on the web: National visible satellite images, with a resolution of 1201 x 897 pixels, are now available on FSL's satellite image page. Displaying and animating these images requires java. If your computer doesn't have a lot of memory and a fast internet connection, you will experience poor performance, in fact your browser may hang. But if you can load the images, you'll see a nicely detailed view of cloud behavior over the US. As with the other satellite image loops, once you've loaded the images, they will update automatically.

The java applet that displays these images was recently ranked in the top 5% of Web Applets by the Java Applet Rating Service (JARS)

Experimental TKE Forecast Product Captures High Turbulence Event: An American Airlines 757 encountered strong turbulence over central Montana on Thursday, 10 July. At about 3:45 pm MDT (2145 UTC), the aircraft, flying at 37,000 ft, met a rapidly rising convective tower that it could not avoid. Eight horizontal cross sections of FSL's experimental turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) forecast products show an area of severe turbulence over western North Dakota, associated with a line of developing thunderstorms.

Satellite Image Loopers upgraded again: FSL's Satellite Image Loopers have been upgraded again. They now can loop a variable number of frames up to 24, and update automatically . They also come up in smaller windows that don't waste screen space with unnecessary browser buttons.

Faster loading satellite image loops: FSL's satellite image loopers on the web now load much more quickly. If you have a 28.8K modem at home, you can load an 8-frame loop in less than 3 minutes. The new image loopers can be found here. The links on FSL's weather page have been updated to point to the new image loopers.

Tornado! At approximately 2:15PM MDT, a tornado touched down a few miles east of our laboratory. FSL staff captured some impressive photographs.

40-km RUC Evaluation Forum: The RUC evaluation forum is up and running. This web-based discussion group has been established by the RUC/MAPS developers to facillitate evaluation of the 40-km RUC currently being implemented at the National Centers for Envirionmental Prediction (NCEP).

FSL Turbulence Data Display: The experimental turbulent kinetic energy forecast product, generated with the DTF4 algorithm using 29-km Eta model data, is now available for display via the Meteorological Applications Branch homepage.

GLOBE Team Members Climbing Mt. McKinley (Denali): Follow the Denali trek of two members of the GLOBE system development team as they attempt to scale North America's tallest mountain.

What's New is New! The FSL What's New web page has recieved a facelift. Check it out and please, send along those news-worthy items. Thanks.

FSL Web Site Recognition: FSL's web site has been chosen a Site of the Month for May by George Washington University's Green University Initiative.

NOAA/OAR Earth Day Web Page: Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day 1997. Visit NOAA/OAR's Earth Day web page for links to related NOAA sites and Earth Day activities.

Time Lapse Loops of GOES Visible, Infrared, and Water Vapor data: Time lapse loops of GOES Visible, Infrared, and Water Vapor data are now available to the general public on FSL's weather page. These are the results of a joint effort by Dan Birkenheuer, Kevin Brundage, and Bill Moninger, all of the Forecast Research Division.

Upgraded National Precipitation Java Applet: A web page showing NationalHourly Precipitation has been upgraded to make it easier to zoom in on specific locations, and navigate around the National map.

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