2006 Stories

NOAA "Rapid Refresh" Provides More Accurate Forecasts for Aviation and Severe Weather
The Nation relies on numerical weather models, complex computer programs, to process millions of weather observations and produce accurate and timely weather forecasts. Developers must make sure that models are both accurate and fast so that watches and warning can be issued with as much lead time as possible. The Rapid Refresh model will be tested this year to support its deployment as the Nation's operational model for aviation and severe weather forecasting. Full Story

By Land, Air, Sea and Satellite, NOAA Seeks Improved Air Quality and It Links to Climate
During the 2000 Texas air quality field study (TexAQS2000), NOAA scientists discovered a major factor that causes the Houston area to experience the highest ozone levels in the United States. Revisions made to the state's air quality management plan based on the 2000 results are expected to save Texas $10B and 65,000 jobs by the year 2010. NOAA returns to Texas this year to extend this research and improve our understanding of the links between air quality and climate. Full Story

NOAA Education Grants Install Science on a Sphere in Four Science Centers
NOAA grants will cover installation of our Science on a SphereTM system and the development of related programming. Grants were awarded to the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California; the Bishop Museum in Honolulu; the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore; and the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. Full Story

Bridging the Gap Between Earth and Space
With a scientific payload developed by NOAA, an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) soared from a southern California desert on the final segments of a successful demonstration mission. Bridging the gap between Earth and Space, these demonstration flights marked the first time NOAA has funded a UAS mission aimed at filling critical research and operational data gaps in several areas, including climate, weather and water, ecosystem monitoring and management, and coastal mapping. NOAA collaborated with NASA and industry to develop the mission. Full Story

"Reforecasts: An Important Dataset for Improving Weather Predictions" featured in BAMS
March 18, 2006
ESRL researchers co-authored the current cover article for the January 2006 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). The article entitled "Reforecasts: An Important Dataset for Improving Weather Predictions," discusses how weather forecasts can be improved through statistical corrections of the current numerical forecast using many observations and past forecasts from the same fixed model. Full Story

Researchers Swarm the Arctic as Part of the SEARCH Program
March 18, 2006
NOAA-SEARCH is establishing and maintaining long-term detailed measurements that will be used to determine the mechanisms that force Arctic climate change. The program seeks to establish a number of intensive measurements that can be compared between Arctic regions and the NOAA activities in Canada strongly complement the long-term measurements at the NOAA Barrow Observatory in Alaska. Full Story

North American Carbon Program (NACP) Mid-Continent 2007 Intensive Underway
March 18, 2006
Scientists from universities and governemtn met in to consolidate plans for the multi-disciplinary Mid-Continent Carbon Intensive study scheduled for the 2007 growing season. The Intensive is designed to measure the carbon budget at the regional scale using a variety of different research methods and datasets over the mid-continent region covering eastern South Dakota, eastern Kansas, northern Missouri, Iowa, southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin, and Illinois. Full Story

Science On a Sphere Opens at The Tech Museum
March 17, 2006
View from Space, the newly installed Science On a SphereŽ (SOS) exhibit, opens on March 31st at The Tech Museum of Innovation located in downtown San Jose, California. Full Story

Winter Storms 2006 Include Chemistry Study
March 8, 2006
The Winter Storms project is aimed at collecting atmospheric data during severe winter storms originating over the Pacific Ocean that affect the continental U.S.. The program this year will include research to observe ozone transport and the jet stream. Full Story

NOAA Exhibits ESRL Research at AMS 2006
Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The AMS annual meeting offers NOAA researchers the opportunity to share research and technological developments with the wider meteorological community. Full Story

"Air Toxics" Reaching North America Lower than Previously Thought
February 8, 2006
A new study on the concentration of hazardous air pollutants (or "air toxics") reaching North America, published in the Journal of the Air and Waste Managements Association, Jan. 2006, shows that the background concentrations of 18 hazardous air pollutants are as much as 85% lower than reported in previous studies. This in turn suggests that regional and local contributions to most urban air toxics concentrations in the U.S. are much higher than previously thought. Full Story

Trinidad Head Baseline Observatory Battered by Winter Storm
January 26, 2006
The NOAA Trinidad Head Baseline Atmospheric Observatory located on the Northern California coastline (41.05 N, 124.15 W), and one of the five NOAA Global Baseline Atmospheric Observatories, was shut down for 3 days due to regional power outages produced by a severe winter storm that battered the California and Oregon coasts earlier this month. Full Story

Winter Storms on West Coast Provide a Flood of Data for NOAA Scientists
NOAA researchers are taking advantage of the soggy start of 2006 on the U.S. West Coast to better understand, predict and prepare for a series of intense precipitation events. A field study that began in December and will continue until March is designed to provide some long-term, as well as short-term, results to improve the predictability of floods to better protect the public from losses of life and property while minimizing economic risks associated with water management. Full Story

"A Global Profiling System for Improved Weather and Climate Prediction" Headlines BAMS
January 24, 2006
"A Global Profiling System for Improved Weather and Climate Prediction", by ESRL Acting Director, Dr. Alexander MacDonald, is featured in the December 2005 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). Full Story

Congressional Delegation Tour South Pole Baseline Observatory
January 12, 2006
A Congressional delegation visited NOAA/ESRL Atmospheric Baseline Observatory at South Pole where they received a briefing on the measurements conducted at the facility. Most of the Congressmen were members of science-related committees and showed an intense interest in the science of global climate change and ozone depletion and the related measurements being conducted by NOAA at the South Pole. Full Story

The Dark Side of Ozone Chemistry: New Paper Published in Science Magazine
January 6, 2006
Scientists have discovered a new aspect of nighttime chemistry that influences the daytime production of ozone pollution and hence air quality. The work has implications for air quality improvement strategies related to ozone, nitrogen oxide emissions, and sulfur emissions. The previously unrecognized dependence of the N2O5 reaction on aerosol composition has further implications for predictions of the global levels of ozone and other oxidants. Additional work is needed to quantify the importance of this effect and its regional dependence. Full Story