Staff Notes Daily Announcements

Boundary layer mixing in the HWRF model
Robert Fovell
University at Albany, State University of New York

The role of planetary boundary layer (PBL) mixing in influencing storm size, track, and intensity, is investigated utilizing semi-idealized simulations with the Hurricane WRF model. In previous work (Bu et al. 2017), we demonstrated that significant variations in storm size can result from different PBL schemes, owing in large part to disparities in the vertical mixing of water vapor with respect to magnitude and depth. The potential impact on both storm size and intensity motivates a closer examination of PBL mixing in tropical cyclones, and comparisons with available observations.

For some time, the operational HWRF model has been using a version of the GFS PBL parameterization, which is known to generate excessive boundary layer mixing.  In the past, this mixing was restrained via the introduction of an external parameter, and the current version incorporates a more targeted mixing cap.  The HWRF model code has been revised to permit two additional PBL schemes, YSU and MYNN, to operate both with the model and with the GFDL surface layer scheme used to make real-time forecasts.  YSU is similar in many respects to the operational GFS scheme, but tends to generate much less mixing and shallower boundary layer depths owing to important differences in assumptions.  MYNN prognoses turbulent kinetic energy, and is frequently used in the ARW version of WRF.  These schemes have been evaluated in semi-idealized simulations and evidence that MYNN deserves further consideration will be presented.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Posted by Jessa Johnson at ext. 2751,

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 to Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Take two minutes now to sign up for Bike to Work Day with Team NCAR|UCAR! Free breakfast and prizes await!

NCAR|UCAR is competing in the 2018 Business Challenge against 1,000+ organizations all along the Front Range for the title of Bike to Work Day Champion. Register with team NCAR|UCAR today and you will be leading us in our first steps (or pedals) toward victory! 

All registered participants will be eligible to win some seriously amazing prizes. A random prize winner will be drawn each time we hit another thousand-registrant milestone, so the earlier you get on board, the better! Examples of prizes include an electric bike, concert tickets, and if you are really lucky, a 2-person trip to Iceland, airfare included. Details on the full list of prizes can be found here.

Bike to Work Day is on Wednesday, June 27th. This annual event is a grassroots effort where you get to show off your support for a strong bike culture at your workplace AND your registration helps to send a message to our local and statewide decision-makers about the importance of bike-friendly infrastructure and policies. To top it off, over 200 complimentary breakfast stations will be serving participants free delicious breakfast between 6:30am-9:00am up and down the Front Range.

Won't be able to bike on June 27th for Bike to Work Day? No problem! Register and you will still be counted as being one of the growing numbers of people who support the cause and/or choose to commute by bike. 

If you have any questions contact for additional information. 

Thank you for being a part of this effort!

Posted by Chelsea Castellano at ext. 8549,

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

The latest Safety Notes Newsletter is now available on the HESS website. In this edition:

  • Spot the OSHA Violations
  • Office Safety Tips
  • New Employee Orientations
  • Upcoming Safety Training
  • Safety Reminders
  • Safety in Action Recognitions

The Safety Notes newsletter is brought to you by the Safety & Security Committee and HESS. It is a quarterly newsletter highlighting seasonal safety information.

Posted by Susannah Martinez at ext. 8583,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Thursday, May 31, 2018

The 10k event is coming up on Memorial Day (28th May). While the Business Challenge registration is closed, you can still be part of the team even if you registered yourself separately. If you want your name to count for the NCAR team participation level, let me know via email ( Also, if you are not participating but want to be involved somehow, they are still looking for course and start and finish area volunteers to help out, so if you are interested, I can provide you with some links for that.

Posted by Jimy Dudhia at ext. 8950,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

Save on Parking with SpotHero

SpotHero is a free parking reservation app that will help you save time and money when parking in cities, as well as at hotels and major airports. SpotHero partners with parking locations nationwide to provide you with guaranteed parking spots at discounted prices.

You can either use SpotHero’s website or mobile app to find and book your parking spot. Your business parking expenses can automatically flow into Concur, with receipt attached, ready for inclusion on your expense report. You can even create a personal profile as part of your SpotHero account to keep your business and personal expenses separate.

To get started, click here to activate your free SpotHero account! (Already have a personal SpotHero account? Great! Visit the Adding a Business Profile to Your SpotHero Accountguide for details.)  

See how SpotHero works >

Questions about SpotHero? Submit a request to the Concur Help Desk.

Posted by Angie Yarbrough at ext. 8859,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

Ground-based eye-safe networkable micro-pulse differential absorption lidar (DIAL) for thermodynamic profiling in the lower troposphere

Dr. Kevin Repasky
Montana State University

The importance of thermodynamic profiling has been underscored by a series of National Research Council (NRC) reports as well as a report to the National Science Foundation and National Weather Service.  A recent review article details the state of remote sensing of lower tropospheric thermodynamic profiles.  In this review paper, it was demonstrated that huge observational gaps exist with respect to thermodynamic profiling in the lower troposphere, and low-cost ground-based passive and active remote sensing systems are suggested as the best means to close these observational gaps.

In an effort to develop low-cost ground based active remote sensing instruments to address the needs of the science community, researchers at Montana State University (MSU) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have developed an eye-safe diode laser based (DLB) micro-pulse differential absorption lidar (MP-DIAL) for water vapor profiling in the lower troposphere.  Currently, two MP-DIAL instruments are operational and have been deployed at the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment (FRAPPE), the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) experiment, the Perdigão experiment, and the Land Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE).  For each of these field experiments, the MP-DIAL was run unattended and provided near-continuous water vapor profiles from 300 m above the ground level to 4 km (or the cloud base) with 150 m vertical resolution and 5 minute temporal resolution.  Three additional MP-DIAL instruments are currently under construction and will result in a network of five MP-DIAL instruments for ground based weather and climate research experiments.  Taking advantage of the broad spectral coverage and modularity of the DLB MP-DIAL architecture, a high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL) has been developed at NCAR for aerosol profiling and work has begun on the development of a DIAL instrument for temperature profiling in the lower troposphere.

In this talk, an overview of the DLB MP-DIAL technique will be presented.  The talk will include a discussion on the development and current status of the MP-DIAL for water vapor profiling and including data from recent field experiments.  Furthermore, the status of the development of the MP-DIAL for temperature profiling will be discussed.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018, 3:30 PM - Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory - 3450 Mitchell Lane
Building 2 Large Auditorium (Room 1022)   

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Please view the New Hires and Departures as of Friday, May 18, 2018 at this location:

Posted by Macy Nedelka at ext. 8723,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

Total: ~1,000; ~$1,990,000 advertising value
Summary: New UCAR partnership, congressional briefing on oceans forecasting, Hurricane Harvey, acid rain, forecasting improvements, and a new climate model

Notable clips:

UCAR signs partnership with Skymet Weather Services (UCAR, Tony Busalacchi)
Daily Camera
Boulder's UCAR enters partnership boosting India weather forecasting

UCAR hosts congressional briefing on oceans and long-range forecasting (UCAR, Tony Busalacchi; and CESM, Gokhan Danabasoglu)
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
The Key to Extended Forecasting Is the Ocean

Ocean heat content linked to Hurricane Harvey’s intense rainfall (CGD, Kevin Trenberth)
The Washington Post
Because of climate change, hurricanes are raining harder and may be growing stronger more quickly
(This story was picked up by hundreds of publications, including NPR and USA Today, and was highlighted in a Washington Post editorial.)

Hawaiian volcano will likely cause acid rain and volcanic smog (ACOM, Sasha Madronich)
USA Today
Hawaii volcano: Acid rain will fall, but it won't be harmful — and 'vog' is in the forecast
(This story was published in dozens of publications.)

Hurricane forecasts are improving (RAL, Jonathan Vigh)
Palm Beach Post
Storm ‘cone’ slims down

How plants influence weather and climate (CGD, Gordon Bonan)
Inside Science
The Connected Fates of Trees Thousands of Miles Apart

DOE releases new climate model (CESM)
DOE’s maverick climate model is about to get its first test

Social media highlight:
Our recently created Instagram page grew by more than 30 percent in the last two weeks after we began promoting it on our other social media channels. Follow along with us @NCAR_UCAR.

Posted by Ali Branscombe at ext. 8609,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Tuesday, May 29, 2018

All undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in research at NCAR and UCP are required by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to take Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training.  UCAR offers this training online through CITI Program at no cost to participants. The RCR training is required to be taken within 4 weeks of starting at UCAR/NCAR and upon completion of training, each participant will receive a certificate of completion. To access the RCR training, please connect through CITI Program. Individuals who took this training last year, or have taken it through another institution, can provide their certificates to lab/program administrator.

Instructions for CITI Program registration are found via EOD. UCAR Internal Training support is Toni Wallace,

In addition to the CITI Program training, most of the undergraduate students will also receive training on important topics such as sexual harassment, ethical conduct, and mentoring.  UCAR’s Code of Conduct governs the behavior of all who work or participate in research at our organization.  Providing a safe and respectful workplace is an integral part of our mission to provide science in service to society.

Any questions about the training should be directed to:

Meg McClellan, Ethics Officer (
Rebecca Haacker, Director NCAR Education & Outreach (
Rebecca Batchelor, SOARS Director (
Valerie Sloan, Senior Higher Education Specialist (

Posted by Wendy Olson at ext. 8874,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi will hold a listening session specifically for early career scientists on Thursday, May 24 from 11a.m. - noon in the main seminar room at the Mesa Lab.  

This listeningsession is an opportunity for us to meet as a cohort to shed light on our experiences at NCAR and UCP thus far — and share ideas with Tony for how UCAR’s service groups can best support us going forward.  Early career scientists have unique needs for career development and growth.

If you would like to submit questions ahead of the session, please feel free to send them to Tony’s executive assistant, Joanna Schmitz ( or you can submit anonymous questions directly to him via the President’s Anonymous Suggestion Box.  

UCAR ListeningSession for Early Career Scientists
Thursday, May 24, 11 a.m.–noon
Mesa Lab Main Seminar Room

Note: The session will not be webcast, please attend in person!!

Posted by Rachel McCrary at ext. 2482,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to Thursday, May 24, 2018