Project Atmosphere Continues
One really important note I forgot to add to my last post was on the 3rd day Wednesday we meet the director of the National Weather Service Dr. Louis W. Uccellini. Definitely an opportunity I really enjoyed. He gave a great talk on the future of the Weather Service. He emphasized how important it was to get the weather information out to the community and how water forecasts were becoming an important part of the weather service job. After his talk we got to take our picture with him. I did get a picture with him. Highlight of my day.
By the 4th day we had done a number of module lessons and were heading into some heavy-duty weather concepts. Chad Kauffman was leading the way on this day. He went over how to read a 500 mb pressure map and he gave out some awesome resources. One of them was the National Weather Service Enhanced Display, a great tool to see weather plotted on a map in real-time. His other resource included MetED COMET program. Here you can find some really great online courses that can help you understand weather. Chad went over the CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) that can be seen on a stuve graph. We also went over radiosondes data. After Chad finished his talk we had another briefing with Jerry Griffin about the current weather. We did another module that went over radiosondes data and stuve graphs. Bob then talked about our upcoming trip to the Topeka Weather Center. There we watched them launch a weather balloon to get some radiosondes data. When we arrived various people helped us understand the warning system and how it worked. This center pushed forecast warnings out for the Topeka, Kansas area. It was quite interesting to see how the warnings were created. We then were introduced to the people working in the office. Our visit ended with the balloon launch.
Day 5 of the workshop we reviewed the radiosondes data that we obtained from the weather balloon launch. After going over that Chad introduced us to Severe Weather. The best site for information about Severe Weather is the Storm Prediction Center through NOAA. From there you can access the Violent Tornado Webpage, this I think would be a great page to have students use for a project on tornadoes. I’m beginning to have some ideas for this project at the end of the weather unit.
After lunch we had our weather briefing and then had another guest speaker. Andy Bailey- Warning Coordination Meteorologist spoke on the Doppler Radar. His presentation was great. His topics included – Basic Radar Imagery, Interpretation Basics, Radar Limitations, Radar Display Systems, Storm “Signatures” and New Technologies. One of the most interesting things I thought was that radar’s lowest scan is ½ degree above horizon, reason is they don’t want the microwaves scanning through people etc. Never knew that. You can really read about radar at the NOAA site and accuweather. After explaining radar Mr. Bailey then showed us different storm systems and explained their radar map. It was a great discussion on radar, I learned more radar in this one session then ever before. He also recommended some apps to try radarscope , there are other apps out there too. One thing he did talk about was jobs. His recommendation to anyone who wants a job in the Weather Service, is to go through the military. They give preference to veterans who are qualified. Pretty cool!
The last thing to happen that day was we listened to presentations from two of the participants. One was on the weather at Mogollon Rim in Arizona and the other was on the education system in Canada. Both really interesting. Amazing the knowledge and experience different teachers will bring to workshop.
The weekend was ours, meaning we were off. So a lot of exploring is going to take place. We still have a ton of things to do the next week.