Staff Notes Daily Announcements

A Geostatistical Approach to Modeling Teleconnections
Josh Hewitt
Colorado State University

We present a geostatistical method for studying teleconnections at regional scales by extending hierarchical Bayesian spatial models to incorporate predictor variables that are spatially remote from response variables.  Our method uses remote large scale predictors, such as sea surface temperatures (SSTs), to predict local variables, like precipitation.  The method uses spatially varying coefficients so that teleconnection effects are localized, allowing the model to capture the varying impacts that large scale predictors have on different regions.  Hierarchical Bayesian frameworks also facilitate testing the significance of teleconnection effects and for quantifying forecast uncertainties.  We present encouraging preliminary results of using this method with seasonal sea surface temperatures to study regional teleconnections and to predict seasonal precipitation in Colorado and Oklahoma.  This is joint work with Jennifer A. Hoeting (CSU), James Done (NCAR), and Erin Towler (NCAR).

Friday, September 30, 2016
12:00-1:00 pm
Mesa Lab, Chapman Room
(Bring your lunch)

Posted by Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 to Friday, September 30, 2016

Optimizing Compilers for High-Performance Computing
Dr. Louis-Noël Pouchet
Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Applications running on clusters of shared-memory computers are often implemented using OpenMP+MPI. Productivity can be vastly improved using task-based programming, a paradigm where the user expresses the data and control-flow relations between tasks, offering the runtime maximal freedom to place and schedule tasks. While productivity is increased, high-performance execution remains challenging: the implementation of parallel algorithms typically requires specific task placement and communication strategies to reduce inter-node communications and exploit data locality. Furthermore, pattern-specific and target-specific code optimizations are often needed to achieve high-performance execution of task bodies.

In this talk we present a new macro-dataflow programming environment for distributed-memory clusters, based on the Intel Concurrent Collections (CnC) runtime. Our language extensions let the user define virtual topologies, task mappings, task-centric data placement, task and communication scheduling, etc. We introduce a compiler to automatically generate Intel CnC C++ run-time, with key automatic optimizations including task coarsening and coalescing. We also present several pattern-specific optimization scenarios, including our latest results on optimizing stencil computations on regular grids.


Dr. Louis-Noel Pouchet is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University. He is working on pattern-specific languages and compilers for scientific computing, and has designed numerous approaches using optimizing compilation to effectively map applications to CPUs, FPGAs and SoCs.  His work spans a variety of domains, including compiler optimization, hardware synthesis, machine learning, programming languages, and distributed computing. His research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and Intel.  Previously he has been a Visiting Assistant Professor (2012-2014) at the University of California Los Angeles, where he was a member of the NSF Center for Domain-Specific Computing, working on both software and hardware customization. He is the author of the PolyOpt and PoCC compilers, and of the PolyBench/C benchmarking suite.

Thursday, September 29, 2016
10:00 – 11:00 am
NCAR Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room


Posted by Shilo Hall at ext. 2477,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Friday, September 30, 2016

Join the UCAR Center for Science Education (SciEd) for our Spectacular Super Science Saturday Event on Nov. 5! This year's theme is "Our Changing Climate".

UCAR/NCAR/UCP staff help to make the event fun, meaningful, and informative by greeting the public and providing general information, engaging the public in simple science education activities, or assisting our Science Wizards. Please consider volunteering for one of the following shifts:
9:30 am – 1:00 pm
12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Click on the link below to sign up to volunteer with us at this amazing event:

Posted by Natalie Ponsford at ext. 2585,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Monday, October 17, 2016

Heavy and persistent precipitation in a quasi­stationary convective system in SW England

 Alan Blyth

National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds.


Observations were made with three aircraft, a ground­based X­band radar and several other ground­based instruments during the COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) in the southwest peninsula of England during the summer of 2013.  Convergence lines form in the region as a result of colliding sea­breeze fronts.  Convective clouds often develop along the lines that occasionally results in flash flooding. The most infamous recent example occurred in Boscastle in August 2004. The flash floods and convergence lines have been studied using models and the UK Met Office (MO) network radars and rain gauges, but observations of the microphysics and dynamics of the systems were never made until COPE.

Modelling results and observations will be presented in this talk of a quasi­stationary convective system on 3 August 2013 that had some similarities to the Boscastle case. Heavy precipitation persisted for several hours in localised regions, although a flash flood did not occur. The measurements on this day were made with two aircraft (University of Wyoming King Air and UK BAe 146), a mobile radar, the MO network of radars and ground­based aerosol instruments.  The mobile radar is a dual­polarisation Doppler X­band radar. It made PPIs with a volume return time of about 5 minutes.  The WRF model run at 400­m resolution and a detailed microphysics model were used to help interpret the observations. The warm rain process, supercooled raindrops, graupel and multiple thermals appear to be key to the intensity and persistence of the precipitation

 Seminar will be webcast at:­live.htm

 Thursday, 29 September 2016, 3:30 PM

Refreshments 3:15 PM

NCAR­ Foothills Laboratory

3450 Mitchell Lane

Bldg 2 Small Seminar Room  (1001) 

Posted by Meghan Stell at ext. 2043,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Thursday, September 29, 2016

News clips at a glance: Sept. 16 - 23

Total: ~285 

Summary: NCAR scientists were quoted on stories carried nationwide on the hot summer and potential Zika risk. Additional media attention went to an Associated Press story earlier in the month on Arctic sea ice loss, and to NCAR modeling of atmospheric rivers.

Notable clips:

Zika risk, Andy Monaghan (RAL)
Zika Mosquitoes Can Survive Over Next Months in Southern U.S.
(NBC story carried by affiliate stations across the country)

Heat/climate change, Kevin Trenberth (CGD):
Hellish Summer Weather Told You So Climate Moment
(Associated Press story carried widely in the U.S. and Canada)

Modeling atmospheric rivers, Christine Shields and Jeffrey Kiehl (CGD):
Atmospheric Rivers Come into Focus with High Res Climate Model
(Science Daily)

Climate change/arctic sea ice, Kevin Trenberth (CGD):
Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Second Lowest Level Ever
(Associated Press story carried widely in the U.S., overseas)

Supercomputers (CISL):
How Fast Was the Cray?
(Chess News, citing NCAR as the first regular customer for the Cray)

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Friday, September 30, 2016

Please join us for meet and greet session with UCAR President Tony Busalacchi on Tuesday, September 27 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Mesa Lab Main Seminar Room. All staff are welcome to attend. This is an opportunity for you to meet Tony, hear about his background, and learn about his initial impressions as UCAR President.

For staff unable to be present, there will be a live webcast with the opportunity to post questions online. Please use the following link to connect:

Online participates may connect up to 15 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.  However, a browser refresh may be required at the start of the meeting. The link for the archived recording will also be made available after the event.

Posted by Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Hires and Departures as of Friday, September 23, 2016

Posted by Annette Lampert at ext. 8719,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Friday, October 7, 2016

Mark your calendars for UCAR's 2016 Free Onsite Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics, offered through Passport Health. This event is open to UCAR employees, their spouses/partners and dependent (adult) children 18-26 years of age and retirees. For dependent children under 18 years of age, please consult their healthcare provider(s) for these services.

Seasonal flu vaccinations are free to eligible participants. For questions on whether the vaccine is appropriate for you or a family member, please contact your healthcare provider.   Please note that Flumist is not available for the 2016-2017 flu season.  The traditional trivalent flu vaccine will be available onsite this year.  It offers protection against three flu viruses that are expected to circulate throughout the flu season.

2016 Onsite/Walk-in Flu Vaccination Clinics Schedule (No registration or vouchers required): 

  • NWSC – Janice Conference Room   Wednesday, October 12, 10:00-11:30 am
  • FL2-1003                                             Thursday, October 13,  9:00-11:30 am
  • CG1-2503                                           Thursday, October 20,  9:00-11:30 am
  • RAF/RMAA – Conference Room      Thursday, October 27, 10-11:30 am
  • ML – Director’s Conference Room    Thursday, November 3, 9:00-11:30 am

Vouchers: Eligible participants who cannot attend any of the on-site clinics can schedule an appointment for the seasonal flu vaccination at any of the Passport Health Facilities listed below. UCAR employees visiting the Boulder Passport Health location must show their employee ID/access card.  No voucher is needed for the Boulder Passport Health location. Vouchers are required for all other eligible participants and for everyone visiting any other Passport Health location listed below. Vouchers are ONLY valid at these select Passport Health locations and can be redeemed any time between October 1 - December 31, 2016 (or while supplies last).  For more information or to request a voucher, contact Annette Lampert, x8719.

Please visit this link to view other available Passport Health facilities.

If there is not a scheduled event in your area OR you miss the scheduled Flu Shot Event in your location and there is no local Passport Health location, flu vaccines are available through all UCAR health insurance plans as preventive care and paid at 100%.

This event is offered as a service and participation is voluntary. UCAR does not endorse or recommend any product or service associated with this event.

Posted by Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Friday, October 7, 2016

The TIAA Individual Counseling Sessions for October 2016 have been scheduled:

Foothills Lab 2 – Room 1002 

Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 9:00am - 4:00pm

Click here to schedule an appointment with TIAA on Oct 6 at FL2

Center Green 1 – Board Room 3150

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 9:00am - 4:00pm


To schedule a counseling session: Follow the link above or 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 as soon as possible so they can fill your time slot.

Posted by Alyssa Fronk at ext. 8710,

Monday, September 26, 2016 to Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Computationally Efficient Projection-Based Approach for Spatial Generalized Linear Mixed Models

Yawen Guan
Pennsylvania State University

Inference for spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs) for high-dimensional non-Gaussian spatial data is computationally intensive. The computational challenge is due to the high-dimensional random effects and because Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms for these models tend to be slow mixing. Moreover, spatial confounding inflates the variance of fixed effect (regression coefficient) estimates. Our approach addresses both the computational and confounding issues by replacing the high-dimensional spatial random effects with a reduced-dimensional representation based on random projections. Standard MCMC algorithms mix well and the reduced-dimensional setting speeds up computations per iteration. We show, via simulated examples, that Bayesian inference for this reduced-dimensional approach works well both in terms of inference as well as prediction; our methods also compare favorably to existing "reduced-rank" approaches. We also apply our methods to two real world data examples, one on bird count data and the other classifying rock types. This is a joint work with Murali Haran. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
12:00-1:00 pm
Mesa Lab, Chapman Room
(Bring your lunch)


Posted by Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Friday, September 23, 2016 to Wednesday, September 28, 2016