Alice Crawford added capability to the get_era5.py, which automates the retrieval of the ERA5 grib files for conversion to ARL format. The program can now download ERA5 ensemble of data assimilations (ERA5 EDA) for use with HYSPLIT. https://github.com/amcz/hysplit_metdata.

The ERA5 EDA has 62 km global resolution and 3 hourly analysis fields. There are 10 members in the ensemble. https://software.ecmwf.int/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=74764925. The get_era5.py will retrieve each member into separate files which can then be converted to ARL format with the era52arl conversion program that is part of the HYSPLIT distribution.

The manuscript “A new research approach for observing and characterizing land-atmosphere feedback” by Volker Wulfmeyer et al. was accepted for publication in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). The paper includes Temple Lee, Michael Buban, Ed Dumas, Bruce Baker, and Tilden Meyers as coauthors and presents an overview of research objectives and meteorological measurements made during the Land-Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE) in August 2017. The group from ATDD played a vital role in LAFE by contributing three 10 m micrometeorological towers, performing over 50 flights with its small unmanned aircraft systems, and providing the daily weather briefings for the experiment. The LAFE datasets are now being used to better understand interactions and exchanges between the land surface and boundary layer.

Donna Davis, Rick Eckman, Jason Rich, and Bai Yang attended the 2018 Ground Hog Day Workshop and Chili Contest sponsored by the Weather Service office in Pocatello, Idaho. The workshop included presentations on regional weather, snowpack, and flood outlooks and also provided an opportunity for area organizations to interact. This year, the workshop included a discussion of products becoming available with the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) systems. One of the topics that came up was forecasts of wildfire smoke, which provided an opportunity to mention the HYSPLIT-based smoke forecasts that are already available.

A fourth edition climatology for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been submitted for review and eventual publication as a NOAA Technical Memorandum. Jason Rich has been leading this effort. The third edition included local observations up through calendar year 2007, whereas the latest edition extends them through 2015.

FRD is still working with ESRL and other collaborators on writing papers based on the Wind Forecast Improvement Project phases 1 and 2 (WFIP1 and WFIP2). One manuscript, with Jim Wilczak as lead author, uses data from WFIP1 to investigate how the assimilation of additional observations into the Rapid Refresh model affects forecast skill. It is intended for a journal like Wind Energy. Another manuscript in its early stages provides a more general description of observations collected during WFIP2. It may be part of a special issue in BAMS.

This week Rick Eckman held a kick-off meeting with organizations supporting the INL to coordinate activities related to the 2017 Annual Site Environmental Report. These reports are required annually to describe environmental monitoring and compliance at the INL. One of FRD’s primary activities is to run a special version of the HYSPLIT model to generate estimates of annual radioisotope emissions from INL facilities. This version uses annual observations from the NOAA/INL Mesonet as meteorological input and simulates emissions for a range of different radioisotopes.

Walt Schalk participated in a Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) Emergency Response Exercise Planning meeting to assist in the development of the accident scenario and the resulting dispersion plume.

James Wood explored several options to make our weather tower set-up more “critter-proof.” It seems that the local critters like to chew on our sensor cables.

Walt Schalk completed the conversion of data processing programs ported to a different server. The annual processing of our mesonet data was completed and the appropriate station data statistics were provided to the NNSS Environmental Group for use in their annual environmental compliance reporting requirements. In addition, a station data special request was completed.

Karen Balecha continues to work the Human Resources process to bring the new Electronics Technician on board. The process is not well documented, and the help can be challenging. We are still waiting to hear about the results of the initial security review for one of the meteorologist positions. No timeframe can be developed until the security portion has been completed.

Walt Schalk met with two scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to explore the data we collect and what meteorological services we can provide to support an experiment that is scheduled to start in 2020 on the NNSS.