Staff Notes Daily Announcements

Facing a medical challenge can be stressful enough without worrying whether you have the right diagnosis or the most effective treatment—especially when you consider that, according to the Institute of Medicine, it is likely that most of us will experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime.

UCAR is pleased to offer you the innovative medical benefit called Best Doctors. Best Doctors is a better kind of second opinion service. It lets you get advice from the world’s leading physicians on everything from minor surgery and maternity challenges to more serious issues like cancer and heart disease. If you’re uncertain about a diagnosis or treatment, a Best Doctors clinician will take another look at your case and provide a confirmation or recommend a change.

What’s more: Best Doctors is 100% confidential and cost-free. It’s included in your benefits package and available at no charge to you and any of your dependents enrolled in the UCAR health plans – both Cigna and Kaiser throughout the United States. You don’t even have to make doctors’ appointments or travel. All of the Best Doctors services are provided over the phone or the Internet.

Please visit the Best Doctors website and the Best Doctors Guide for additional information.

Posted by Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 to Friday, August 31, 2018

Please view the New Hires and Departures as of Friday, August 10, 2018 at this location:

Posted by Macy Nedelka at ext. 8723,

Monday, August 13, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018

Across North America, hailstorms are responsible for over $10 billion dollars in annual property damage. The increase in the impact of hailstorms has outpaced advances in detection, forecasting, and mitigation. The National Science Foundation, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety are organizing the first North American Workshop on Hail and Hailstorms. The workshop will bring together public and private stakeholders to discuss the current state of the science regarding all facets of this peril and provide a look to the future. 

Andy Heymsfield, Senior Scientist with Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology, NCAR and Ian Giammanco with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety are the Co-organizers of this workshop.

The workshop will be held August 14- 16th, at the NCAR Center Green 1 (CG1) campus, 3080 Center Green Drive, Boulder, Colorado. Late registration is still open ($250.00) See the website to view the agenda and details.

Posted by YEMAYA THAYER at ext. 8207,

Monday, August 13, 2018 to Thursday, August 16, 2018

Clouds and aerosols: linking aircraft measurements, satellite observations and model simulations

Clouds and aerosols are two key components in the Earth’s atmosphere. A key step towards an improved understanding of clouds and aerosols is linking observations with simulations. The first part of this seminar will compare cloud macro- and microphysical properties between in-situ aircraft observations and a hierarchy of models, including a cloud-resolving model, WRF model, and the NCAR CAM5 climate model. The types of clouds to be analyzed include continental anvil cirrus over the U.S. and mixed-phase clouds over the Southern Ocean. The second part of this seminar will showcase the applications of satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) for assisting air pollution management in the Bay Area in California. Surface-level PM2.5 concentrations will be derived from satellite AOD, which complement the existing ground-based monitor measurements.

Thursday, 16 August 2018, 11:00 AM Refreshments 10:45 AM NCAR-Foothills Laboratory • 3450 Mitchell Lane Bldg 2 Seminar Room (Rm1001) Webcast:

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Thursday, August 16, 2018

On the application of a new lidar sensor synergy for studying and improving parameterizations of land-atmosphere interaction and entrainment in heterogeneous terrain

Recently, a breakthrough has been achieved in the development of 3D scanning water-vapor, temperature, and wind lidar systems. Based on a novel combination of their operation modes, it is possible to determine profiles of these variables from the canopy top to the free troposphere with high spatial and temporal resolutions over different land cover. Furthermore, in vertical staring modes, mean and gradient profiles as well as profiles of higher-order moments and fluxes can be determined simultaneously. Therefore, in both the surface and the interfacial layers, flux-gradient-variance relationships can be investigated, which may provide the basis of advanced, scalable parameterizations of turbulence exchange and transport in complex terrain. 

In this presentation, the first application of this synergy is presented, which took place within the scope of the Land Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE) conducted at the ARM SPG site during August 2017. First results are presented and discussed.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018, 3:30 PM Refreshments 3:15 PM NCAR-Foothills Laboratory • 3450 Mitchell Lane Bldg 2 Small Seminar (Rm1001) Webcast: 

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Tuesday, August 14, 2018

RAL Seminar

Catalyzing Decision Services with Probability Forecasts on Demand

John K. Williams The Weather Company, An IBM Business

An “operations to decisions” divide is preventing much of the available societal value of the weather enterprise’s increasingly accurate forecasts from being fully realized. Existing weather decision support services often target high-impact events, government agencies and large businesses with tailored weather information, but there is also significant potential value in improving the ability of society at large to use weather information to make a broad spectrum of day-to-day decisions. Bridging the “O2D” divide requires an accessible framework that includes the requisite weather forecasts, methods for inferring impacts, techniques for determining optimal actions, compelling ways to communicate supporting evidence and effective means to execute decisions. An optimal decision is one that limits the risk of an unacceptable outcome, provides the greatest expected net benefit, is timely, and can be cogently described and explained.

While some domains may have more limited requirements, weather-based decision services generally require (1) forecasts of all possible future weather scenarios and their likelihoods; (2) a way to determine costs and benefits associated with prospective actions under each scenario; (3) predictions of the benefit versus opportunity cost of waiting for a more certain forecast before making a decision; and (4) tools and strategies for communicating and executing decisions.  Towards this end, The Weather Company has launched a new probability forecasting capability called Probability Forecasts on Demand (PFoD). PFoD builds on our 18-year evolution of the DICast-based automated multi-model consensus forecasting technology, which drives a broad array of business and consumer weather products including the Weather Channel website and mobile applications. PFoD provides probability distribution function (PDF) and related descriptions of forecast uncertainty for several weather variables at any global location.  In addition, it provides a user-specified number of calibrated ensemble “prototype” forecasts that provide the multivariate weather trajectories required to evaluate nonlinear weather impacts and spatiotemporal dependencies. The prototypes are calibrated and constructed to be “equally likely,” giving them an advantage over raw NWP ensembles that may exhibit biases, under- or over-dispersion and unequal skill among members. Coupled with machine-learned, heuristic or physically-based impact models, PFoD provides a basis for quantifying risks and estimating expected values for prospective actions or policies. The availability of PFoD via an API offers easy access to the weather information required to develop a broad array of decision services.  This talk will describe and illustrate PFoD’s capabilities, provide sample decision use cases, and highlight some of the many forecasting and decision service design challenges that remain to be addressed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:30-2:30 FL2 - 1001

Posted by Jessa Johnson at ext. 2751,

Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Tuesday, August 21, 2018

*Special MMM/CGD Joint Seminar *Please note Special Day and Time

Title: Mesoscale Eddy Momentum Flux in a 7km Mesh Global Atmosphere Model

Presenter: Brian Mapes, University of Miami

Abstract:  A two-year global nonhydrostatic atmosphere simulation on a 7km mesh (G5NR from NASA’s GEOS-5 model) is queried for one of its most unique strengths: What is the vertical momentum flux (u’w’ and v’w') by explicit air motions in the mesoscale (7-444 km) scale range? After motivating this classic question, especially in light of the hypothesis that organized convection can act as an upscale energy transfer (via upgradient flux, a “negative viscosity”), we address it comprehensively with the data. A global climatology indicates that these mesoscale motions overall act as positive viscosity (damping the shear kinetic energy SKE), except perhaps for some grid points with steep topography. However, cases of positive SKE tendency are also seen. We drill down into full-resolution data for selected situations to expose the nature of the calculation and the phenomena involved. Cyclones in shear are especially prodigious in producing convection-momentum interactions, of both signs, through preferential sampling of non-average low-level momentum. 

*Special Day and Time: Friday, August 17, 2018, 11:30am Refreshments 11:15am FL2-1022 Large Auditorium, Live webcast

Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018

Posted by Nancy Kerner at ext. 8946,

Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018


Title:  Impact of ozone depleting substances on the stratospheric Brewer-Dobson circulation

Presenter:  Marta Abalos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Abstract:  The Brewer-Dobson circulation (BDC), responsible for tracer and heat transport in the stratosphere, is expected to strengthen due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. While this robust result has been supported by a large body of literature, substantially less attention has been paid to the impact of ozone depleting substances (ODS). Here we will present recent modeling evidence that anthropogenic ODS emissions are also key drivers of long-term trends in the BDC. It will be shown that ODS have contributed to about half of the BDC trends over the last decades of the 20th century, and that the phasing out of ODS emissions as a consequence of the Montreal Protocol will lead to a considerable reduction of the acceleration trends in the 21st century. A distinction will be made between two pathways for ODS impact on the BDC. In the chemical pathway, ODS cause Antarctic ozone depletion which then induces dynamical changes in the SH stratosphere. In the radiative pathway, ODS act as greenhouse gases and induce tropospheric warming, which in turn drives changes in the BDC. It will be argued that the radiative pathway is strongly coupled to the ocean response, while the chemical pathway is decoupled from the ocean and leads to interhemispheric asymmetry in BDC trends. Finally, a comparison of the BDC trends in the model with those obtained from reanalysis data will show that ODS have been the main driver of observed austral summer trends over the last decades of the 20th century. This is the case for the two components of the BDC: the residual circulation and isentropic mixing.

Friday, August 17, 2018, 3:30 p.m Refreshments 3:15 p.m FL-1022, Large Auditorium Live webcast:

Posted by Bonnie Slagel at ext. 8318,

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018

It is that time of year again! 

The Up the Hill Race is on September 21st this year from 2:00 PM - 6:30 PM at the Mesa Lab Tree Plaza.

Come one - Come all! Your family members are invited to join the race as well.


If you are interested in participating in the bike or foot race, please register here.


If racing isn't your thing, you can still participate by volunteering! Interested volunteers, register here.

If you have questions, please contact Toni Wallace, or Evette Aragon,

Posted by Toni Wallace at ext. 8716,

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 to Friday, September 21, 2018

News clips at a glance: June 20 - July 16 Total: ~600 clips; $3 million advertising value

Summary: California wildfire conditions, solar storms, storm intensification, atmospheric science art, and hurricane damage mitigation in Florida.

Notable clips **Designates articles that were published as a result of the NCAR/UCAR Journalism Summit produced by the Communications Team in early June. Thanks to all the participating scientists.

California’s 2018 conditions mirror deadly 2017 wildfire conditions (MMM, Janice Coen)

Bloomberg News

California Wildfires Were Terrible Last Year. Will This Year Be Worse?

(This story was published in several news outlets.)


**Solar storms could cause major damage to infrastructure (HAO, Scott McIntosh)

Business Insider

A big solar storm could wreak havoc on GPS and everything else on your phone


**Scientists discuss geoengineering techniques (ACOM, Simone Tilmes)

Scientific American

The Best Way to Shade Earth


Dry air from Sahara Desert suppresses storms (MMM, Chris Davis)

Bloomberg News

Hurricanes Fell Silent as African Dust Clouded Skies in the U.S.

(This story was published in several news outlets.)


CESM2 released to public (CGD, Jean-François Lamarque)


New Version of Popular Climate Model Released


Torrential rain events becoming more frequent in the United States (MMM, Andreas Prein)

The Washington Post

Immense rains are causing more flash flooding, and experts say it’s getting worse

(This story, and/or Prein’s quote, was published in several news outlets.)


Wildfires in the western U.S. cause air quality concerns (ACOM, Gabriele Pfister)


Air pollution is increasing over a wide swath of the U.S. because of record wildfires


Art and atmospheric science come together (HAO, Steve Tomczyk)

National Geographic

How an Artist Puts Clouds and Rainbows in Unlikely Places


Florida homes built to new building code suffer less damage (MMM, article co-authored by James Done)


Building for Disaster: Stronger Codes for Stronger Cities


Architect I.M. Pei’s architectural mark in the U.S. (NCAR Mesa Lab)


Nine immigrants who helped make America great


Social media highlights: In early July, we launched a social media campaign to encourage more applications for UCAR’s Next Generation Fellowships. Digital Media Specialist Simmi Sinha created an animation that was shared across our social media platforms, receiving a combined 3,000 views across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Posted by Ali Branscombe at ext. 8609,

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 to Tuesday, August 14, 2018


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