Staff Notes Daily Announcements

The weather patterns that typically bring moisture to the southwestern United States are becoming more rare, an indication that the region is sliding into the drier climate state predicted by global models, according to a new study. (Story by Science Writer and Public Information Officer Laura Snider. Read more here.)

For more information, contact Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Fri, 02/05/2016


Rick Katz

Climate change poses several issues for the statistical modeling of extremes. One issue concerns how to introduce non-stationarity into extreme value distributions for extreme weather and climate variables. The most common approach entails using time as a covariate through one or more of the parameters of extreme value distributions. For precipitation (with an apparent heavy tail and high variation on small spatial and temporal scales), this approach is usually unable to detect trends when applied to single sites. Rather, borrowing strength across space (termed regional analysis in hydrology) will be necessary, but would require accounting for the spatial dependence of extremes.

Another issue concerns what is an appropriate measure of the risk of non-stationary extreme events (e.g., for use in engineering design). Under a stationary climate, the risk of extreme events is usually measured in terms of a return level with a specified return period (i.e., a high quantile such as the so-called "100-year flood"). Under nonstationarity, I advocate abandoning the concept of return level and, instead, using the Design Life Level, a measure based on a desired "risk of failure" over a specified design period. The Design Life Level corresponds to a high quantile of the distribution of the maximum of the variable over the design period. For illustrative purposes, two real-world examples are used, one involving peak streamflow and another precipitation extremes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
12:00-1:00 pm
Mesa Lab, Room 680, Tower B
(Please bring your lunch)

For more information, contact Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Fri, 02/05/2016

Location: FL2/1022

Presenter: Leigh Gene Orf

Affiliation(s): University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date & Time: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 3:30pm

Tornadoes are among nature's most destructive forces. The most violent, long-lived tornadoes form within supercell thunderstorms. Tornadoes ranked EF4 and EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale that exhibit long paths are the least common but most damaging and deadly type of tornado.


In this talk, results from numerical simulations of supercells containing violent, long-track tornadoes will be presented, focusing primarily on a 30 meter simulation of a supercell modeled within the 24 May 2011 El Reno, OK supercell environment. Preliminary results from a recent 20 meter simulation of the 24 May 2011 storm will also be presented, including the entire life cycle of a multiple-vortex EF5 tornado which transitions from a single-celled tornado, to a two celled tornado, to a multiple vortex tornado before dissipating. The genesis, maintenance, and decay phases of the tornadoes will be explored using high quality visualization techniques designed to provide insight into the storm.

For more information, contact Caroline Haws at ext. 8189,

Fri, 02/05/2016

A free seminar series presented by the Pre-Retirement Planning Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization specializing in financial planning and pre-retirement counseling services will begin on February 12.  Combining elements of both financial planning and pre-retirement planning, the series is offered in five, mini-session modules. Participants can choose to attend one or all sessions depending on interest.  At the end of each session module, participants may request to schedule private, consultation services with the certified financial professionals (paid by participants).  Employee spouses/partners are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Each module session requires a minimum of 10 participants.

To enroll, access the Connect Employee Self-Service Web site using the link below, click on the "EOD Training Catalog" link.  To see all of these sessions at once, "Select Course Type" as "Informational" and click "Display".

PLEASE NOTE:  Four of the sessions listed below will be a live streaming Webcast (not recorded) to allow employees in all states to participate. You will still need to register for the course in order to receive the instrucations to access the Webcast.  The Financial Planning & Investments session cannot be Webcast due to state licensing issues. 

UCAR Benefits, TIAA-CREF Retirement Planning Resources
February 12, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST
FL1 – 2109 EOL Atrium and Webcast
Overview - Learn about UCAR's retirement benefits including the TIAA-CREF retirement program and how to maximize their value. 

Financial Planning & Investments
February 19, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST (no Webcast due to state licensing issues)
Overview - Discover the benefits of Financial Planning and different types of Investment options

Long-Term Care & Social Security
February 26, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
Overview - Review needs of Long-term Care and Social Security Benefits

Medicare Basics
March 4, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
FL2 – Large Auditorium
Overview - Gain a better understanding of Medicare, what is/isn't covered, how to register, and review various plan options.

Estate Planning and Housing/Transitions
March 11, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
Overview - Learn key elements of Estate Planning and what to expect in the work-to-retirement transition

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

New Hires and Departures as of Friday, January 29, 2016

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

The IRS says that individuals must file Form 8889 if they (or someone on their behalf, including their employer) made contributions to their HSA account.  Form 8889 must also be filed if individuals take funds out of an HSA, even if they do not make a contribution to the HSA that year. 

While UCAR cannot provide tax advice, we can provide some information concerning the W-2 you will receive for payroll deductions and how it applies to Form 8889.  If you need additional tax advice, please consult a qualified tax advisor or the IRS at

Please view the web page below for additional information including links to the form instructions, the form and a sample form.

Accessing the 1099-SA:

Log on to
Click on "Review My Coverage" tab
Click on "Health Savings Account (HSA)"
Locate the "Account Balance" heading in the gray box to the left of the screen then
Click on the "Visit your HSA bank to manage your account" link
Click on the "Statements & Notifications" tab
Locate the "HSA Tax Statements" section on the left side of the screen
Click on "1099-SA (2015)" to view your document

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

The UCAR Community Art Program proudly presents two new exhibits:

Pastel Paintings by Diane Wood 

Diane Wood’s journey into the art world began in 1999 when she moved to Colorado. Diane works in three mediums: oil and pastels and acrylics. While she admits that she has developed a particular love for pastels because they lend themselves to such vibrant colors, she says the most important thing is to enjoy creating art. Wood’s is a representational artist, inspired daily by what she sees. Whatever the scene, she intuitively transposes the mood and the feeling to her canvas to bring the image alive with color and excitement. She has a passion for life and tries to enjoy each day to the fullest, incorporating her love of gardening through the flowers she often chooses as subjects and infusing her work with the vitality of music. Wood’s work will be on exhibit in UCAR Gallery I of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) February 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016. 

Plein Air Pastel Painting by Sandra Haberkorn 

With plein air pastel painting, Sandra Haberkorn has discovered a medium through which to share the captivating beauty of the world around her. From sweeping landscapes to intricate details, she is continually inspired by the beauty of nature. Sandra enjoys getting lost in the artistic recreations of the colors and scenery that catch her eye, but also appreciates the relationships that this form of art has allowed her to build. She believes that, through art, people can express themselves in a way that forges connections with others. Personally, Sandra finds inspiration and support through her marriage of 35 years, her three children, and her work as a Catholic school art teacher. She is grateful for the opportunities she has been given to cultivate her passion for art. Haberkorn’s work will be on exhibit in UCAR Gallery II of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) February 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016.

For more information, contact Audrey Lewis at ext. 2570,

Mon, 02/01/2016

CISL is excited to announce a new series of short courses coordinated by the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences:  “Beyond P-values”.  This series is aimed at  NCAR  staff and visitors with an interest in acquiring more advanced statistical and data analysis skills. 

Each course will provide a targeted selection of topics in a  specific statistical subject taught by experts in that area. The instruction will be data-driven and will include hands-on teaching of statistical software tools.  The courses will last two to three days and will be limited to a small number of participants to provide high quality one-on-one support by the instructors and additional coaches.  The first course in the series is on the Statistics of Extremes and will take place March 28th through March 30th.  Details on the course agenda and registration can be found here.

For more information, contact Dorit Hammerling at ext. 1222,

Fri, 01/29/2016

NOAA’s recent, upcoming and longer-term plan to use low

altitude, air-deployed UAS in severe storm environments


Dr. Joseph J. Cione

NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory

Monday, 8 February 2016 at 2 pm

Foothills Laboratory Building 2, Room 3107

The hurricane boundary layer is the lowest layer of the atmosphere where momentum is exchanged with the surface and where heat and moisture are extracted from the ocean. As such, this region of the storm is critical as it relates to tropical cyclone formation, maintenance, intensification and weakening. Despite the inherent importance of this environment, flight safety risks currently limit the routine collection of wind, pressure, temperature and moisture observations near the ocean-atmosphere interface. In-situ measurements below 500m in high wind hurricane conditions are typically from point-source, instantaneous, GPS dropsonde observations. The lack of continuous data coverage at low levels is a primary reason why hurricane boundary layer structure and associated physical processes within this critical region of the storm remain poorly understood and inadequately represented in today’s operational models. In turn, inadequate representation of physical processes often leads to errors in data initialization and assimilation, which can adversely impact the accuracy of subsequent hurricane forecasts. It is believed that an improved understanding of boundary layer processes, through targeted, enhanced and continuous observation using low altitude unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will be essential in order to significantly improve scientific understanding and future predictions of hurricane structure and intensity. In 2014 NOAA conducted the first-ever air-deployed, UAS experiments into a tropical cyclone environment. On 16 September 2014 Raytheon’s 13lb, 5-ft wingspan Coyote UAS was deployed into the eye of Major Hurricane Edouard. At an approximate altitude of 880m, the UAS penetrated Edouard’s western eyewall and recorded platform record-breaking winds of 50m/s as it proceeded to ‘orbit’ this high wind region during its historic 28-min inaugural mission. On 17 September a second successful P-3/Coyote UAS flight was conducted. This event set endurance records for the Coyote platform as it remained airborne within the hurricane boundary layer for 68 min (at controlled altitudes ranging from 400-800m). Recent analyses from these flights have validated Coyote UAS measurements using nearby observations from GPS sondes and wind estimates from P-3 tail Doppler radar. Results from these two inaugural flights along with NOAA’s future plans to use low altitude UAS in hurricanes will be discussed. In addition, preliminary comparisons of air-sea observations from buoys, GPS sondes and ocean probes with coupled output from NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting modeling system will be presented.

For more information, contact Rhonda Moore at ext. 8389,

Fri, 01/29/2016

On February 22, 2013 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research (“Memorandum”), which directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development (R&D) expenditures to develop plans to make publicly available to the “greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law” the “direct results of federally funded scientific research.” Federally agencies now have active Public Access policies which will apply to research funds awarded to UCAR. The NCAR Library, along with other internal groups, is leading efforts to provide support to our scientific and engineering staff to help them understand what their responsibilities are with respect to the various agencies, and to help them successfully submit required material. We have developed a Public Access website that includes background information on the OSTP mandate, FAQs, and links to the various agencies’ polices. The website will be updated to include dates for town hall and other informative meetings for all staff; in addition, FAQs will be updated as we hear from you and learn more from the agencies.

For more information, contact NCAR Library at ext. 8505,

Thu, 01/28/2016

The TIAA-CREF Individual Counseling Sessions for February 2016 have been scheduled. The TIAA-CREF representative will be at:

Center Green 1, Room 2503. Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Foothills Lab 2, Room 1003. Thursday, February 25, 2016, 9:00am – 4:00pm


To schedule a counseling session, please call their Scheduling and Service Group phone reservation center at 1-800-732-8353.

These sessions are in high demand, so if you have to miss your appointment, be sure to contact TIAA-CREF as soon as possible so they can fill your time slot.

For more information, contact Irena Haimsky at ext. 8706,

Wed, 01/27/2016

Parent’s Night Out is a great opportunity for you and your significant other to go out to dinner and a movie!

Contact Stephanie Ivancic, Director of UCAR’s Child Care Center, to sign your child up from 6 pm - 8 pm ($30 for one child or $40 for two children) or 6 pm - 10 pm ($50 for one child and $60 for two children).

Children are welcome to wear their pajamas for a fun evening of movies and pizza! If your child has a video that he or she would like to share, bring it along! Please make sure it is labeled and let the fun begin! Siblings under the age of 7 are welcome, too.

We invite all UCAR employees to take advantage of this fun evening as your child does not need to be enrolled at the UCAR Child Care Center to partake! 

Mark your calendars for future dates:  March 4 and 18, April 1, 15, and 29, May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24 and July 8 and 22.

Please contact Stephanie Ivancic for enrollment as well as drop-in care rates.  Stephanie’s email address is and her phone number is 303-443-5595.

The UCAR Child Care Center is a service of UCAR Human Resources Dependent Care Assistance:

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Mon, 01/25/2016

Per the previous Heads Up announcement, Contracts issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit a vendor for the next office supply Non-Encumbered Blanket Purchase Order (NBPO).  This process is now complete.  Faison Office Products was the successful vendor in this RFP.  Thanks to all those who participated in the evaluation process!

If your lab/program wants to purchase office supplies through this NBPO, please submit a Purchase Requisition (PR) to Contracts at  The account key series for the lab/program should be used on the PR with the exception of account keys in 30xxxx, 31xxxx, or 32xxxx.  Also, the person(s) authorizing the PR must have at least $5,000 in signature authority for the account key series included on the PR.   Please utilize the NBPO Purchase Requisition form found on the Contracts webpage under Contract Forms.

Please submit the PRs for this NBPO to Contracts no later than Friday July 17, 2015. 

Please direct any questions regarding this NBPO or the ordering process to Justin Lee at or 303-497-2069

For more information, contact Justin Lee at ext. 2069,

Wed, 07/15/2015