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May 1998

Science Briefing

AGU honors Darrel Baumgardner

Darrel Baumgardner.

"Reviewing papers and proposals is something I take very seriously, but most scientists would acknowledge that it is a time-consuming job." So says Darrel Baumgardner (RAF), who recently earned kudos for his journal reviews. The American Geophysical Union has awarded Darrel the 1997 Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. Darrel will accept the honor at the AGU's spring meeting in Boston, 26-29 May.

Darrel has reviewed about 100 papers for JGR-Atmospheres over the past 15 years. Since 1993, he has also served as associate editor of the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. "I like to review papers," Darrel says, "particularly ones that are not in my principal area of expertise. It keeps me current in what is happening scientifically and helps me do my job as an ATD scientist: to recognize the needs of the scientific community and find ways to improve our measurement capabilities to meet those needs."

Head of the RAF science group since 1991, Darrel came to NCAR as a visiting scientist in 1981. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Wyoming. Darrel's research interests center on the microphysics of clouds and aerosols and tools for studying them. He has led the development of several aircraft-mounted probes to measure liquid water, icing, and cloud-droplet size distributions. In 1994 Darrel, along with Jim Dye, Bruce Gandrud, and Aref Nammari, received the NCAR Technology Advancement Award for the RAF multiangle aerosol spectrometer probe.

USWRP gets a global counterpart

Rit Carbone.

Rit Carbone (MMM) is now chairing a global initiative much like the one he helps lead in the United States. A proposal for a World Weather Research Program (WWRP) met with a favorable reception when presented by Rit at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Atmospheric Sciences meeting in Skopje, Macedonia, on 24 February.

Rit is currently lead scientist for the U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP, profiled in the May 1997 issue of Staff Notes Monthly). The main goals of the USWRP and WWRP are similar: heightening our skill at short-term forecasts of high-impact weather events. On 1-2 April the USWRP held its third stakeholders' meeting at the Mesa Lab, where the 60 attendees pondered efforts to improve forecasts of rain and snow amounts and the impact of landfalling hurricanes. A five-year, $130-million proposal is now in the works.

The USWRP has evolved over more than a decade. The WWRP concept built on that work and thus took shape more quickly. Rit chaired a WMO working group on short-term and very short term prediction that held five meetings over the last four years. "It became evident that 0- to 72-hour forecast problems of societal significance are relatively small in number, and each problem is shared among many nations," says Rit. A high priority identified in the meetings was better forecasts of tropical-cyclone landfalls. Other key interests were thunderstorms developing over land areas, extratropical cyclones forming at sea, and the effects of mountains on weather systems. Over the past two years, the WMO working group put together the WWRP proposal that Rit presented in Macedonia.

In his talk, Rit stressed the importance of free and unrestricted data exchange to the long-term success of weather prediction on both global and local scales. He also related his views on some challenges and opportunities:

Rit cited last year's Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track Experiment and the upcoming Mesoscale Alpine Experiment as examples of projects well suited for WWRP involvement. Currently, he says, plans are for a demonstration project to study landfalling tropical cyclones. The experiment phase of this project will be based in the U.S.-Caribbean region with strong multinational involvement.

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

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