Staff Notes Daily Announcements

To provide a boost to women working in information technology, UCAR is helping to bring together a team of women who will help build and operate a high-capacity network at a major supercomputing conference. (Story by David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations. Read more here.)

Posted by David Hosansky at ext. 8611,

Friday, October 21, 2016 to Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Multivariate spatio-temporal modelling for geophysical inversions

Andrew Zammit Mangion
University of Wollongong, Australia

Multivariate spatio-temporal systems are ubiquitous in the geophysical sciences. When analysing such systems, all covariances between all possible combinations of variables at any sets of locations and time points need to be modelled. These covariances need to be built with care, since any covariance matrix that is derived from such a model has to be nonnegative-definite. In this talk I show how a class of valid, flexible models can be constructed using a conditional approach. More generally I show how the approach can be used to construct multivariate models defined by networks of spatio-temporal variables. As case study I consider the problem of atmospheric trace-gas inversion, where the aim is to infer the unobserved sources and sinks of a gas (first variable) from noisy measurements of gas mole-fraction (second variable) from ground stations or remote sensors. These two spatio-temporal variables are related through meteorology and chemistry, simulated using deterministic numerical models.  The talk concludes with an outline of other environmental applications that will benefit from this modelling approach. This is joint work with Noel Cressie from the University of Wollongong and Anita Ganesan from the University of Bristol.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Mesa Lab, Chapman Room

(Bring your lunch)

Posted by Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Friday, October 21, 2016 to Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Please enter your FY2016 staff metrics in the Metrics Database ( by Friday, October 28 so your Staff Directory metrics and individual Activity Report are current and our year end reporting to NSF is accurate!

Take just a few minutes to enter your metrics if you have:

  • Served on a thesis committee
  • Served as a journal editor
  • Received an external award or honor
  • Contributed to K-12 activities
  • Mentored a colleague
  • Presented a poster or talk
  • Served on an external committee
  • Served on an internal committee
  • Gone on a collaborative staff leave greater than 2 weeks
  • Taught in a college classroom
  • Taught in a Workshop/Tutorial

Need help?  Check out the Learn in a Minute Videos.  For the Metrics Database series click on the link to Videos in the navigation near the top of the page on the Metrics Database home page or go directly to the video by clicking on the title below:

Metrics Database 101

Data Entry


Activity Report

Metrics in the Staff Directory 

Call or email Konnie Phillips at ext. 1101, or your Metrics Maven if you have any questions.  Thanks!

Posted by Konnie Phillips at ext. 1101,

Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Friday, October 21, 2016
Tracking extremes in climate data: community defragging and understanding uncertainty

Colin Zarzycki, NCAR/CGD

Algorithmic Lagrangian feature tracking is becoming more widely used in the climate community for detecting and tracking discrete extremes, including tropical and extratropical cyclones, atmospheric rivers, and mesoscale convection. As high-resolution datasets become more readily available, the number of trackers has continued to grow, producing an increasingly fragmented ecosystem of codebases. This presentation describes a new open-source, parallelized, software framework for automated feature tracking applicable to a wide variety of datasets on either structured or unstructured grids. Rather than define a new scheme, a generalized suite of algorithmic kernels has been developed to capture the core functionality of tracking routines from throughout literature.

One recent application of this framework is the use of sensitivity analysis to screen for input parameter configurations (i.e., thresholds) that contribute significantly to sensitivity in output metrics (i.e., storm counts). As an example, tracked tropical cyclone (TC) trajectories in reanalyses are compared to a pointwise observational record. Results show that using vertically-integrated metrics for defining cyclone thermal structure are superior to single-temperature levels. Input thresholds defining vortex strength contribute the most variance in TC results. Integrated output metrics are shown to be less variable than traditional 'counting' metrics. An example of tracker optimization is shown, with tracked TCs demonstrating better hit and false alarm rates than previously published studies. Differences in climate extremes between experiments may vary as a function of input parameter space, underscoring the need to standardize tracker configurations and quantify confidence in multi-model experiments.

Tuesday Oct. 25, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Accounting for Coarse Resolution Model Simulation

in Data Assimilation for the Geosciences

Daniel Hodyss

Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California

In geophysical applications we are rarely if ever able to simulate the problem at hand at a resolution for which all important scales of motion are fully resolved. Almost universally we must truncate the continuous variables of interest to a discrete set and then concatenate those variables into a state-vector that does not fully describe the problem. Typically, we model this state-vector with a discretized partial differential equation (PDE) that attempts to model the entire physical system using fewer degrees of freedom than exist in reality. The result of this coarsening of the simulation of the system is that the numerical model does not simulate the actual variables of interest but simulates some (unknown) function of the true variables of interest.  For example, a coarse spatial mesh used to solve the typical hyperbolic PDEs of geophysical fluid dynamics delivers a solution that is smoother than a fine spatial mesh, and therefore the solution for each element of the coarse mesh model is some function of many elements of the fine mesh model. Observations of the actual physical system often observe state variables at this higher resolution, which are not actually simulated by our coarse mesh forecast model, at least not directly. How then should we make use of these observations in a data assimilation algorithm? If data assimilation is interpreted as an application of Bayes’ rule then what does Bayes’ rule mean in this context? We will review some recent research aimed at the development of a rigorous Bayesian framework for understanding and addressing these issues.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

12:00-1:00 pm

Mesa Lab, Penthouse - Tower B

 (Bring your lunch)


Posted by Kathryn Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Four pilots and one instrumentation technician in NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory recently received the Antarctica Service Medal from the National Science Foundation for their research flights in that remote and challenging region. (Read more here.)

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Wednesday, October 26, 2016

There are only four more vendor spaces left! Please reserve your spot as soon as possible. Once all vendor spaces are filled, Toni Wallace will create a vendor wait list.

If you're interested in being a vendor, please contact Toni Wallace via email with answers to the following questions:

  • First and last name?
  • Phone number?
  • How many tables do you require?
  • How many chairs do you require?
  • Are you a NCAR/UCAR employee?
  • Relationship (if any) to a NCAR/UCAR employee?
  • Would you like to donate a door prize for the event?

Event Details:

Date: Friday, November 11th
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: CG1 Building in South, Center, and North Auditoriums
3080 Center Green Drive, Boulder 80301

Whether you are going to participate as a vendor or you just simply want to shop, you will enjoy this eventful and festive holiday market!

Posted by Toni Wallace at ext. 8716,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 to Friday, October 28, 2016

New research by NCAR scientists suggests that "flash droughts" — like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012 — could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data. (Story by Laura Snider, Senior Science Writer and Public Information Officer. Read more.)

Posted by Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 to Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Title: An Overview of Air Force Weather Cloud Analysis and Forecast System and Plans for the Future
Presenter: Dr. Timothy Nobis, Chief Scientist SEMS III – Northrop Grumman

Abstract: This presentation will provide a basic overview of the current cloud analysis and forecast system utilized by Air Force Weather. In terms of the cloud analysis, the talk will detail the historical evolution of cloud detection and properties generation and detail the specific cloud property information available in the latest version of the cloud analysis. In addition, the talk will include details on a new concept known as the cloud reanalysis currently under development. The forecast portion of the talk will provide a brief overview of the two basic cloud forecast processes employed within the system; an advective approach and a statistical post processing of numerical weather model output approach. Finally, the talk will conclude with a discussion of the future goal stated by AFW of moving the cloud analysis and forecast process directly into the numerical weather model production suite. This evolution has and is expected to generate the need for basic and applied research in areas of both data assimilation and model microphysics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 2:00 PM

FL-2 Room 1001

Posted by Rhonda Moore at ext. 8389,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 to Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This new NCAR TechNote will be displayed at each NCAR Library location for one week, first at FL Library and then at ML Library. If you have questions regarding the item or want to suggest additions to the library collection, please contact the NCAR Library at or ext. 8505.

NCAR GPS Dropsonde Humidity Dry Bias
Authors: Holger Voemel, Kate Young, and Terry Hock
Publisher: National Center for Atmospheric Research

Location: ML
Call Number: 03733

It is available electronically in Open Sky at:

Posted by NCAR Library at ext. 8505,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 to Monday, October 24, 2016