ARL Weekly News – August 3, 2018

Student Science and Education Symposium Poster Judging: Alice Crawford and Glenn Rolph served as poster evaluators for the 2018 Student Science and Education Symposium, August 2, 2018, at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Over 100 students participated in this year’s event and provided either oral presentations or a poster for the work that they completed under the 2018 Ernest F. Hollings and Educational Partnership Program (EPP). Projects were conducted this summer at NOAA facilities across the country. For information on the Ernest F. Hollings and EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Programs, visit:

Annual State of the Climate Report for 2017: On August 1st, the annual State of the Climate Report for 2017 was formally released by NOAA and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The report is the 28th in a series of annual reports that have been published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). The report includes contributions from more than 450 scientists representing more than 60 countries. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected from locations on land, water, ice and even space. Some of the climate indicators include: greenhouse gases, temperature, precipitation, sea level, sea ice extent, glacier mass, snow cover and tropical cyclones. ATDD’s Howard Diamond has been the lead editor of the Tropics Chapter since the 2006 report and will continue in that role for the 2018 report. The report can be found on-line at and the Tropics Chapter can specifically be found at the following link at For those members of the AMS the physical copy of the report will be mailed to you as a supplement with the August 2018 issue of BAMS. For those who are not members of the AMS, Howard will be getting extra copies of the report and will be happy to provide copies to anyone in ARL who wants one. – Howard Diamond, 301-427-2475

U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) Station Name Change: In October 2016, the residents of Barrow, Alaska, voted to change the name of their city from Barrow to its original Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik (pronounced as Oot-KHAH’-ghah veek). The change was officially adopted by the State of Alaska on December 1, 2016. In line with that change, the USCRN station name is now known as “AK Utqiagvik formerly Barrow 4 ENE.” Due to computer filename requirements, we were not able to adopt the dotted “ġ” character and have left it simply as a “g”. There were no other changes to the USCRN site other than the name. A 10-second sound bite with the pronunciation is available at This was a joint effort between ATDD and the folks at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Asheville, North Carolina. This will be a slow moving name change for many other organizations that will take many years to do, but we are out in front of things by completing this now, and like most name changes, the amount of effort is more than one thinks it may be originally. So, special thanks and recognition go to Michael Potter and Lynne Satterfield at ATDD for helping to make this change happen along with our partners at NCEI. – Howard Diamond, 301-427-2475

Recently, James Wood, Caleb Steele, Rick Lantrip, and Walt Schalk supported a non-proliferation Source Physics Experiment (SPE) experiment on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Support began weeks ahead of the experiment with providing detailed point forecasts and weather surveillance for the experiment location. During the week of the experiment, the SORD team was in the field, on location, providing these detailed point forecasts and weather surveillance. Due to the nature of the experiment, lightning/storm data/information and wind speeds (under 5 m/s desired) were critical to the success of the experiment. A radiosonde balloon was released just after the experiment was executed and reached 6.8 mbs. Several preparation days were cut short by storms and lightning in the area, but at the time of execution, the weather was ideal.

Six of our 3D sonic anemometers stopped reporting in the last 10 days. Wayne Bailey and Caleb Steele swapped out the sonics which resolved the issue. However, we will be looking into the nature of the problem with the sonic and will be sending the units in to the manufacturer for servicing. We have had an active monsoon season this year with many thunderstorm days over the past three to four weeks. Although no direct hits are suspected, the enhanced static field could be causing some of these issues.

Beginning last weekend, James Wood has been providing weather support to the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration Emergency Operations Center for a wild land fire that has been burning on the NNSS. Point forecasts for the fire area have been provided and updated numerous times per day as well as weather surveillance for lightning and storm activity. These data are critically important to the safety of the fire fighters on the ground and to the aviation assets dropping water on the fire. The fire is initially out, but fire watch continues into the weekend.