ARL Weekly News – January 19, 2018


Over one million served again! In 2017, a new record was achieved for the most HYSPLIT simulation ever produced on the READY web server (, with over one million (1,217,438) simulations performed exceeding the previous record set in 2016 (1,094,305). HYSPLIT simulations have seen a steady increase since 2009 when results were tabulated. READY users can create air parcel trajectories or air concentration maps with HYSPLIT using archived or forecast meteorological data, although the primary HYSPLIT simulation has been trajectories using archived meteorological data.

Alice Crawford attended the ARL/ESRL summit remotely and gave a presentation, “Modeling Long Range Transport with HYSPLIT” on January 17th.


On January 14, 2018, the all-time maximum January monthly temperature record for the state of Alaska was recorded by the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) station at Metlakatla, on Annette Island which is on the Alaska Panhandle in very southeastern Alaska. That record temperature recorded was 18.7º Celsius (65.7º Fahrenheit). This new record significantly broke the previous all-time record for January in Alaska (set on January 27, 2014) of 16.7ºC (62.1ºF) that was recorded by the USCRN station in Port Alsworth (in Lake Clark National Park) that is about 170 miles to the southwest of Anchorage. This is very indicative of what has been, to date, been the warmest winter in Alaska in recorded history. From October to December 2017, the average statewide temperature in Alaska was -5.7ºC (21.8ºF) which is 4.6ºC (8.2ºF) above the long-term average. For December 2017 alone, the average statewide temperature for Alaska was -7.0ºC (19.4°F) which is an incredible 8.7ºC (15.7°F) above the long-term average. It will be interesting and important to see how the rest of the winter season for Alaska in January and February turns out with respect to temperatures, and the USCRN will continue to play a very important role in helping to identify these important climate records and anomalies across the state as it gives us data and insights into Alaska climate, that prior to the implementation of the USCRN in the state, that we would simply not have had. For more information, please contact the USCRN Program Manager, Howard Diamond, at 301-427-2475.


Walt Schalk prepared and finalized the agenda, and conducted the (January) U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Meteorological Coordinating Council conference call. The call consisted of: an update of activities at DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) HQ, a round robin update of program status of those on the call, significant weather impacts around the DOE complex, a brief discussion on the annual meeting, and request for information on activities and issues for the DOE Meteorological Coordinating Council (DMCC) to address.

Walt Schalk participated in two planning meetings in preparation for the second phase of non-proliferation experiments (Source Physics Experiments – Phase II, Dry Alluvium Geology). Discussions with Los Alamos scientists have been conducted to determine collaborative and support areas especially in the area of using weather balloons to elevate sensing instrumentation. These activities will continue to evolve over the fiscal year.

James Wood, Ricky Lantrip, and Walt Schalk received  “The Secretary’s Appreciation Award” from the U.S. Department of Energy for their participation in the Source Physics Experiments – Phase I. The Award states: “The Source Physics Experiment team is recognized for significantly advancing the underground nuclear explosion monitoring capabilities of the United States. With the completion of the Pahute Mesa experiments of phase I, the Source Physics Experiment team has increased our theoretical understanding and modeling capabilities, leading to improved methods to detect and identify explosions. We are closer to achieving our overall goal of a physics-based model that can discriminate among explosions, earthquakes, and cavity collapses and accurately determine nuclear explosion yields. Truly a multi-talented and multi-laboratory group, the Source Physics Experiment team persevered through unforeseen adversity and several significant technical and operational challenges to achieve results with great scientific and operational impact. Their efforts are a great credit to themselves, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Department of Energy.