NSF NCAR simulates the Lahaina Fire to improve wildland-urban fire predictions
The US National Science Foundation National Center for Atmospheric Research (NSF NCAR) has paired two computer models to simulate the Lahaina Fire and improve the prediction of wildland-urban fires.
The research team included experts from the University of Buffalo; the University of Nevada, Reno; and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. The study, funded by NSF, was published in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.
One of the two paired computer models, the NSF NCAR-based Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, was used to simulate the downslope windstorm that erupted on the day of the fire, generating gusts of up to 80mph.
“The climate crisis is not gender neutral”
In a keynote address at the launch of the International Gender Champions Climate Impact Group, Celeste Saulo, secretary-general of the WMO, stated that women and men are affected differently by weather and climate, and therefore need gender-sensitive information and services.
Since taking office at the start of 2024, Saulo has stated that one of her priorities is to foster greater diversity within the WMO, ensuring equitable representation across gender, regional and cultural lines. She is committed to implementing the WMO Gender Equality Policy which was updated in 2023.
The International Gender Champions (IGC) event was hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
National Hurricane Center upgrades its ‘cone of uncertainty’ hurricane graphic
Nearly two years after a University of Miami study revealed that a redesign might help clear up confusion, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has begun to roll out an experimental version of the Tropical Cyclone Track Forecast Cone aimed at better conveying the hazards people face from landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes.
The Tropical Cyclone Track Forecast Cone communicates the most likely path of the center, or eye, of a cyclonic storm. According to the university, ever since it was introduced more than 20 years ago, the graphic has been misinterpreted by many people, with some incorrectly believing that areas outside the cone are safe from storm threats.
Caribbean Meteorological Organization launches its first radio frequency coordination training workshop with WMO
The Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) will host a training workshop on radio frequency matters, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert team on radio frequency coordination (ET-RFC) and with the support of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), on February 23, 2024.
The workshop will run in conjunction with the 5th meeting of the WMO expert team on RFC, February 20, 21 and 22, 2024, at the CTU Headquarters, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The training workshop, reportedly the first of its kind, will include at least 20 local experts from radio frequency user groups within the public, private and academic sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.
European weather center HQ given planning permission
Wokingham Borough Council in the UK has granted planning permission for the development of a new European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) headquarters on the University of Reading’s Whiteknights campus.
The development will reportedly house 300 scientists in a sustainably designed facility. Construction is expected to begin later in 2024, with completion due in autumn 2026. The project is funded by the UK government through the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. The planning application was submitted by the Government Property Agency (GPA).
The site of the proposed new building formerly housed the School of Art and will be prepared by the university’s Estates team before being handed over to the GPA.
Australian Bureau of Meteorology partners with ECMWF
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has signed a five-year strategic relationship agreement with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) to collaborate and share data, knowledge sharing and capabilities exchange.
BoM has been invited to work with ECMWF as part of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. Copernicus is the Earth observation component of the EU’s space program and includes satellite and in situ observations combined with expert modeling to provide services such as the Climate Change Service implemented by ECMWF.
ACCESS is BoM’s extended and long-range forecast system. It is a dynamical (physics-based) forecast modeling system that uses ocean, atmosphere, ice and land observations to initiate forecasts for the season ahead.
NSF NCAR extends director Everette Joseph’s term to 2029
Everette Joseph’s term as director of the National Science Foundation National Center for Atmospheric Research (NSF NCAR) has been extended through February 2029.
Joseph became the NSF NCAR director in February 2019, coming to the organization from the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he was director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. After joining NSF NCAR, Joseph oversaw the writing and approval of a new strategic plan that built on NSF NCAR’s legacy while ensuring the organization will be helping to address society’s grand environmental challenges into the future, providing communities with actionable Earth system science to become more resilient.
Finnish Meteorological Institute develops precision meteorology system for agriculture monitoring
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has begun collaborating with the Finnish Food Authority to develop a system that enables more precise monitoring and analysis of agricultural land conditions, crop potential and fertilizer needs.
The project uses satellite data, physical soil temperature and moisture models, and artificial intelligence to identify Finnish field crop species, maintenance needs and actions taken, such as mowing and soil cultivation.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute supplies the Finnish Food Authority with satellite data, consisting of the backscattering coefficient and coherence of Sentinel-1 data. Coherence indicates the phase change of the radar signal between two consecutive measurements, which occurs every 12 days with the Sentinel-1 satellite.