ARL Weekly News – March 1, 2019

Dr. Ariel Stein, ARL Acting Deputy Director, attended the Workshop on Measurement-Model Fusion for Global Total Atmospheric Deposition (MMF-GTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 26-27, 2019. Dr. Stein is in the second of his ten-year role as Chairperson of the event’s organizing body, the Scientific Advisory Group for Total Atmospheric Deposition (SAG-TAD). The workshop provides a platform for the exchange of information and facilitation of data standardization regarding the MMF technique. While still in development, different parts of the world are already applying the MMF technique to determine deposition of chemical compounds into the Earth’s surface and oceans.

Drs. Pius Lee and Daniel Tong were among the invitees present for a ceremony formally launching the Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) at George Mason University, hereafter referred to as Mason, on February 25, 2019. This new initiative plans for 500+ faculty members to address the Earth’s future, including the problem of global climate change and its projected ecological and economic impacts. Many of ISE’s frontiers will align with NOAA’s interests related to forecasting and trend analysis for the Earth’s geophysical and chemical systems. The institute will draw on Mason’s deep talent from a number of disciplines – including natural sciences, communications, computational and data sciences, humanities, law, engineering and social sciences – to conduct research, meet with policy makers, and leverage existing university partnerships with government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector to equip decision maker with science-based future roadmaps. Another exciting expansion at the university is a new computing school, which seemingly coincides with the expected establishment of Amazon’s second headquarters in Northern Virginia.

2019 HYSPLIT Workshop: Plans are being made for the 2019 HYSPLIT Workshop to be held during the month of June. In the past, ARL hosted a four-day workshop in College Park, MD, that was designed to provide the user with hands-on instruction on how to install, run, and interpret the results of the PC/Mac-based version of the HYSPLIT model. Beginning with 2019, the HYSPLIT workshop will no longer be held in person. Instead, an agenda will be created that will guide the user through each section of the online training materials, with each of the four weeks focusing on several sections of the training materials (such as installation, meteorology, trajectories, dispersion, etc.). This will allow the user to learn the materials at their own pace and time. During the week, users will be able to submit questions to the HYSPLIT Forum that will be answered by HYSPLIT experts during the week. ARL will then hold live one-hour sessions on the following Monday at 4 p.m. EDT and on Tuesday at 9 a.m. EDT. During these identical sessions, the instructor will review the questions that were received during the week and, if time permits, allow users to ask new questions on the material covered in that week’s session. Additional information and registration can be found at

Winston Luke traveled to the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Point, Mississippi for a quarterly maintenance visit February 25 – March 1. He repaired, maintained, and calibrated instrumentation to measure trace gases (ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, mercury species), aerosols (black carbon), meteorological parameters (wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure, relative humidity, rainfall rate, incoming solar radiation), and collected precipitation samples for analysis of mercury and major ions. Dr. Luke also collaborated with faculty and students from the University of Mississippi to investigate the performance of passive samplers for gaseous elemental mercury.

 Instrumentation at left and right on a platform overlooking waterways. width=

Paul Kelley and Xinrong Ren traveled to NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory on Hawaii’s Big Island for an annual maintenance visit February 24 – March 3. They repaired, maintained, and calibrated instrumentation to measure trace gases including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and mercury species.

The manuscript “Data Assimilation Impact of In Situ and Remote Sensing Meteorological Observations on Wind Power Forecasts during the First Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP)” has been accepted for publication in Wind Energy, with Jim Wilczak at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory as lead author and Rick Eckman as a coauthor. This manuscript looks at the effects of increasing the density of observations used to initialize a regional forecast model on the resulting wind forecasts. The article has been assigned the DOI 10.1002/we.2332, although there are no online links at this time.

The primary radio repeater used for the NOAA/Idaho National Laboratory’s Mesonet failed this week. This occurred while Southeast Idaho was affected by an atmospheric river event that dumped large amounts of snow and closed many roads through the mountains. This repeater is on a mountain peak at around 9,000 feet (ft.) mean sea level (MSL), so the antenna could have been damaged by ice or winds. Access at this time of year is only by snowmobile. Mesonet data are currently being routed through a backup repeater on an isolated butte at about 7,500 ft. MSL.