Staff Notes Daily Announcements

WHO:  All staff who travel internationally

WHAT:  Don’t travel with data that is not needed for your trip. Don’t take export controlled or other sensitive or controlled data on international travel if it is not required and authorized.

WHY:  U.S. customs officials are authorized to search or retain electronic devices, including digital cameras, cell phones, media players, disk drives, flash drives, tablet devices, and laptops, even without probable cause, to look for violation of export control regulations as well as other laws and regulations. To prepare for this possibility:

  • Don’t carry data you don’t want others to see: medical records, research data files that cannot be published, financial information, photos, etc.
  • Before you travel, back up any data that you don’t want to lose.
  • Consider taking a minimal device (clean laptop) equipped with only ordinary, recognizable software and minimal data so any search can be fast.

CONTACT:  For further guidance view or download “International Travel with Devices and Data”, contact, or your ECC (Export Compliance Coordinator).

Posted by Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Monday, March 27, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017

Posted by Annette Lampert at ext. 8719,

Monday, March 27, 2017 to Friday, April 7, 2017

Summary: The media clips this week showed the breadth of NCAR’s research and modeling tools, from improving road safety to predicting the probability of life on a faraway planet, as well as the positive impacts of federally funded labs on the local economy. 

Notable clips:

CO-LABS report on local economic benefits of federally funded research labs (Tony Busalacchi):
Federal labs in Boulder and across Colorado seen as $2.6 billion economic driver
(Boulder Daily Camera)

Forecasting Road Hazards (RAL):
How Wyoming is Testing Connected Vehicles on a Major Trucking Route
(Microwaves & RF)

Climate Change and Storms (Kevin Trenberth, CGD):
Climate Change is Certainly Causing More Powerful Storms

Update of International Cloud Atlas (Steve Cohn, formerly NCAR):
With First Update in 30 Years, Clouds Getting a Whole New Look
(Philadelphia Inquirer, cites Cohn's former affiliation with NCAR)

Planetary Research (NCAR Community Model):
TRAPPIST-1's Planets are Quiet, Quiet as the Grave in Fact
(The Register, United Kingdom)

Solar Forecasting (Sue Haupt, Tara Jensen, RAL):
SunShot Solar Forecasting Program Receives Top Honors
(Solar Power World, cites Haupt and Jenson for advancing solar energy forecasting)

Haze Management in China (NCAR cited as a collaborator):
QNLM Contributes to Haze Management
(Press release published online by a number of media sites including WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte, N.C., a CBS affiliate)

(Bison International Conference, NCAR Director Jim Hurrell):
Bison Community Plans Historic Rendezvous in Montana in July
(Farm Forum, names Hurrell as a keynote speaker at the conference)

Social media highlights:
Two tweets Friday were popular, reaching thousands of our followers, and retweeted a total of 15 times.

One tweet promoted the updated international cloud atlas, an effort led by Steve Cohn, formerly of NCAR. Another tweet promoted the addition of solar data sets to augmented- and virtual-reality apps developed by CISL's Visualization Lab.

Posted by Peggy Stevens at ext. 8601,

Monday, March 27, 2017

As part of the upcoming Rising Voices conference, and UCAR's NSF INCLUDES project, we are happy to announce a 1-day professional development opportunity on April 12th, here at NCAR, for any scientists interested in working with Native American populations. The day-long course will provide information about the cultural practices and customs of a range of Indigenous Tribes, explain the political workings of the Tribal Governments, and provide guidelines for how to interact appropriately and respectfully with Native American communities and students. 

The workshop is free to NCAR/UCAR staff, and lunch will be provided. Attendance from NCAR/UCAR is limited to 10 places.

If you are interested in registering for the workshop, please contact Kris Marwitz at For more information about the workshop, please contact Carolyn Brinkworth at

Posted by Carolyn Brinkworth at ext. 1670,

Monday, March 27, 2017 to Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Mesa Lab semi-annual building maintenance shutdown is scheduled for Saturday, 15 April from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  During this time the Mesa Lab and Fleischmann Buildings will experience intermittent electrical, heating, and air conditioning interruptions, some for extended periods.

Access to the Mesa Lab will be restricted to authorized employees, and there will be no public access to the building.  Visitors may still use the trails around the building.

CISL/ISGB will be releasing information regarding the impact of the Mesa Lab Data Center portion of the shutdown in the near future as details become available. Please direct questions about the Mesa Lab Data Center to

Posted by David Maddy at ext. 1134,

Monday, March 27, 2017 to Thursday, March 30, 2017

On Saturday, April 8th, from 7am to 4pm,  NETS will be migrating the phone system to new hardware.  Call processing should remain fully functional during this work, however, please be aware of these potential impacts to the telephone system:

- It is possible that some calls in the process of being set up might drop, though established calls should not be impacted
- Do not make changes to your phone (forwarding, etc) during this maintenance window.  Any changes made to your phone during this window might be lost. 
- There will be intermittent access to the user options web page during this window

Voice messaging will be available throughout this entire window.

Posted by Paul Dial at ext. 1261,

Monday, March 27, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017

Building inspections are approaching!  Once again special clean­out services will be available to staff for 3 weeks prior to each building inspection.  This collaborative effort is a unique opportunity to easily and conveniently clear out what you no longer need. Conveniently purge, recycle, archive and safely discard sensitive material.

Find the specifics of these events from the building inspection website:

Inspection Schedule

April 13th:    RAF

May 11th:    FL1, 2, 3

June 8th:    FLA, 0, 4

July 13th:    Center Green

August 10th:    Mesa Lab

For more information, contact Susannah Martinez at ext. 8583,

Additional information available at: Building Inspections 2017

Posted by Bob Wiley at ext. 8554,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017

Revisiting the Parametrization Problem
Hannah Christensen, NCAR/CGD

Parametrization schemes have traditionally been formulated in a deterministic manner. In other words, given a particular state of the resolved scale variables, the most likely forcing from the sub-grid scale motion is calculated and used to predict the evolution of the large-scale flow. Over the last decade, an alternative paradigm has developed: the use of stochastic parametrization schemes. In this talk I will discuss the motivation behind stochastic schemes, as well as highlight the variety of approaches that have been proposed for a range of physical processes. However, despite the exciting developments in such physically-motivated schemes, many operational weather forecasting centers use a comparatively basic approach. I discuss why this might be the case, and reflect on the pros and cons of these operational schemes.

Finally, I turn my attention to the use of stochastic parametrizations in climate models. I will discuss experiments in CCSM and EC-Earth that demonstrate the potential for improving climate simulations by using stochastic parametrization schemes. I conclude by discussing the potential for using stochastic schemes to represent model uncertainty in ensembles of climate simulations, in a comparable way to existing perturbed parameter or multi-model approaches.

A final remark: CMIP6 will include the first integrations from a climate model with a stochastic parametrization scheme – perhaps by CMIP7, other models will have followed suit!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017
11:00 AM, refreshments at 10:45
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wildfire: Future Synchronicity and Impact on Management Decision Making
Alison Cullen and Linda Mearns

A growing research base supports the assessment of increases in frequency, extent, intensity and impact of very large wildfire (VLWF) events in the US, and increases in the length of the fire season, with a changing climate.   Meanwhile, little research considers potential increases in the synchronicity of very large wildfires; however such simultaneous occurrences could be expected to introduce scarcity and strain within systems for allocating fire suppression resources, equipment and personnel.  And in fact, in the 2015 fire season observable strain occurred in the western US.  We have been developing a research plan to consider decisions related to positioning and mobility of fire fighting equipment and personnel with the twin goals of estimating the probability of exceeding available capacity and of estimating the value of improved information about climate conditions and fire potential for these positioning and allocation decisions into the future.  In this work in progress seminar we will outline our plans for estimating the likelihood and impact of one or multiple VLWF events, using NA-CORDEX ( future climate simulations and subsequent simulation of fire potential under these future conditions, for the entire 21st century.

We will further describe the possible impact of new fire potential information for fire risk management and decision making.  We are developing an approach for identifying key thresholds for simultaneity and key triggers for exceeding available fire management resource capacity.  Research questions of interest include: at what breakpoint would the resource system be irretrievably ‘broken’ or overwhelmed due to too many large simultaneous fires? Under such conditions how would decisions be made to allow some of the VLWFs to not be suppressed even under conditions of likely damage and/or loss of life? What is the value and capability of improved climate and fire metric information incorporated in pre-season planning to minimize the chance of hitting such breakpoints?  How does this information value trade off against the value of purchasing additional equipment and personnel capacity in advance of the season?  And alternatively what decision protocols could adaptively manage fire risk during the fire season by movement of equipment and personnel on the fly?

Wednesday, March 29
12 - 1 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Mesa Lab, Damon Room

Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NCAR and UCAR join American Meteorological Society colleagues and those in the broader meteorological community in mourning the passing of AMS President Matthew J. Parker, who died on March 15. (Read more here.)

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 to Tuesday, March 28, 2017