August 20, 2014
A case study indicates that the COSMIC microsatellite system can significantly improve predictions of tropical cyclones by using GPS radio occultation to observe remote regions of the atmosphere.
Cyclone Gonu on NASA/MODIS satellite, 6/4/07
July 22, 2014
Scientists have found that internal variability can make one season twice as active as another, even when large-scale hurricane-shaping elements are unchanged. The research suggests that seasonal hurricane forecasts could be improved by conveying the amount of unavoidable uncertainty in the outlook.
July 10, 2014
More than 1,000 forecasters, researchers, and other professionals from around the globe will convene in Montréal on August 16–21 for a first-of-a-kind meeting aimed at pooling international thought on where weather prediction is headed. NCAR and UCAR participants are on tap to cover a wide range of promising developments.
Future of weather prediction: Thunderstorm near Denver's Front Range radar
May 21, 2014
A field project this June and July will study gravity waves, towering atmospheric features little-known to the public. Novel instruments to be deployed for the international DEEPWAVE project, based in New Zealand, will provide an unprecedented view of gravity waves, a major shaper of atmospheric variability at multiple heights.
Effects of gravity waves: Noctilucent clouds over Helsinki, Finland, on July 2, 2012
April 01, 2014
It takes a sharp eye to find something positive in the wreckage of the worst swarm of U.S. tornadoes on record: the 1974 Jumbo Outbreak. Millions of Americans are safer in the air because of Fujita's subsequent analysis of microbursts and tools developed by NCAR and collaborators.
Aviation safety: Microburst looms near Denver's Stapleton International Airport, July 6, 1984
March 18, 2014
Why seasonal forecasting can’t tell us with certainty what to expect this summer—and why we might soon have a stronger sense of what late 2014 and early 2015 are likely to bring to large parts of the globe.
Damage from California mudslides during 1997–98 El Nino
March 04, 2014
How does the U.S. winter of 2013–14 rank against its predecessors? And was it a harbinger of more cold winters to come for parts of the country, or simply an outlier at a time of largely warming winters?
Plowing snow in New Hampshire: How do cold winters and climate change intersect?
January 01, 2014
If the official weather forecast holds, Sunday's Super Bowl won’t have to be postponed. But the outlook would be far more uncertain if predictions today were as primitive as they were at the time of the first Super Bowl in 1967.
Snow and the Super Bowl: Chicago's worst blizzard struck in January 1967
January 01, 2014
Next month’s Super Bowl will be the first ever held in an open stadium in the northern U.S. What weather might we expect two weeks from now, and how might research improve a forecast in that time range?
Can a two-week forecast warn us of Super Bowl snow? Pictured: 1950 "Snow Bowl"
December 17, 2013
Three states are deploying snowplows this winter with custom-designed sensors to better monitor weather and road conditions.
Winter driving on I-84 at Meacham Hill, Oregon
November 14, 2013
Using new satellite data, scientists have developed a technique that may produce continually updated, 24-hour predictions of wildfire growth throughout the lifetime of long-lived blazes.
Forecasts of long-lived wildfires: June 2010 fire in Great Sand Dunes National Park
October 27, 2013
Scientists find that an atmospheric pattern can foreshadow the emergence of summertime heat waves in the United States more than two weeks in advance.
Long-term forecasts of heat waves: illustration with 5 high pressure ridges, typical of wavenumber-5 pattern
October 01, 2013
Though Hurricane Sandy struck almost a year ago, the fearsome cyclone lives on within the circuits of supercomputers that are replicating its unusual evolution and track.
Supercomputer visualization of Hurricane Sandy, including near-surface winds and radar reflectivity
September 14, 2013
Four days of rainfall across Colorado’s Front Range produced massive flooding that’s marooned thousands, inundated key roads, and damaged countless homes and businesses. Just how rare was this event?
Front Range disaster: flood waters in south Boulder, Colorado, September 12, 2013
July 29, 2013
Just as forecasters now peg the odds of a busy Atlantic hurricane season months in advance, we might soon have outlooks that assess the risk of an active tornado season weeks or even months ahead of time.
Tornado and wall cloud: Is long-range tornado prediction feasible?
May 13, 2013
To better predict where thunderstorms will rip across the central United States this spring, researchers are teaming a high-flying aircraft with fine-grained computer simulations.
Thunderstorm research: NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V jet at field campaign
May 09, 2013
The last month has seen a trail of smashed records across the central United States, as pulse after pulse of cold air careened down the Great Plains. How does this fit into the bigger picture of a warming U.S. climate?
Putting cold in context: Snowfall atop Ozark Mountains, May 4, 2013
March 18, 2013
If predicting snow is a tough business, measuring it is no piece of cake either.
Snow measurement: Ethan Gutmann checks automated equipment
March 04, 2013
A major winter storm is threatening the Washington, D.C., area this week, on the heels of record-setting snowfalls and blizzard conditions in several parts of the United States last month. Are these onslaughts catching people off guard?
Predicting snowstorms: Accumulations from blizzard photographed on February 9, 2013, in Billerica, Massachusetts
February 28, 2013
They’ve been carried by truck into supercell thunderstorms, flown on aircraft into hurricanes, and sliced and diced the atmosphere in myriad ways. Where are research radars headed next, and where will they take science and society?
Radar research: Doppler on Wheels radar unit scans a severe thunderstorm
February 25, 2013
As a step toward meeting the goal of providing earlier warnings, NCAR scientists and their colleagues are examining what enables poorly organized clusters of thunderstorms to develop into tropical storms and hurricanes.
Hurricane Forecasting: Satellite image of Tropical Storm Gaston
February 22, 2013
Satellite images have revealed at least three dramatic eye-like features not far off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts over the last several weeks. While these can look startlingly like the eyes of hurricanes, they’re not quite the same thing.
Eye-like feature within stratocumulus in coastal eddy off southern California coast
January 24, 2013
Much of the United States has felt winter’s bite this week, with fresh but frigid cold to the east and a weeks-long spell of stagnant, polluted chill to the west.
Inversion over Salt Lake City, January 2011, related to persistent cold and pollution events
January 16, 2013
New research points to gravity waves, which ripple unseen through the atmosphere, as the culprit in many cases of clear-air turbulence. If those waves can be forecast, the research suggests that planes in many cases could be rerouted around them.
gravity waves
December 31, 2012
More than two days ahead of landfall, it was clear that Hurricane Sandy could bring higher water than New York and New Jersey had seen in decades. But for thousands of people in the area, the threat simply didn’t register. (Part 1 of 2)
Hurricane Sandy storm surge-wreckage of New Jersey roller coaster

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