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Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, November 2000.

Description: Winter Weather Outlook--With the chill of colder temperatures in the air, we can rest assured that the icy grips of winter are just around the corner. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), a specialized part of the National Weather Service (NWS), has issued its annual winter outlook for the 2000-2001 winter season. The CPC, located in Camp Springs, Maryland, is a government agency that focuses its predictions on Earth's climate. In comparison to the NWS forecasts of short-term weather events, the CPC goes farther into the future (from a week to seasons). The CPC conducts real-time monitoring of Earth's climate and makes predictions of climate variability over land and ocean and in the atmosphere. The CPC also evaluates the sources of major climate anomalies. The operations branch of the CPC prepares long-range forecasts by applying dynamical, empirical, and statistical techniques. The analysis branch performs applied research to identify physical factors responsible for climate fluctuations. The two branches work jointly to test new forecast methods and models, with the goal of improving model output. The CPC also evaluates the outlook for floods, droughts, hurricanes, ozone depletion, and El Nino and La Nina environments. So, what is the CPC outlook for winter 2000-2001? For the most part, winter weather will return to ''normal'' this season, because the El Nino and La Nina anomalies that shaped our past three winters have dissipated. Normal winter weather statistics are based on data for 1961-1990. The strong influence of the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean during an El Nino or La Nina episode, which makes it easier for forecasters to predict the trend for weather events, has given way to more neutral conditions. This winter, we should be prepared for swings in temperature and precipitation. The CPC is forecasting a more normal winter in ...
Date: December 1, 2000
Creator: Sisterson, D. L.

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, November 2002.

Description: Fall 2002 Intensive Operation Periods: Single Column Model and Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle--In an Intensive Operation Period (IOP) on November 3-23, 2002, researchers at the SGP CART site are collecting a detailed data set for use in improving the Single Column Model (SCM), a scaled-down climate model. The SCM represents one vertical column of air above Earth's surface and requires less computation time than a full-scale global climate model. Researchers first use the SCM to efficiently improve submodels of clouds, solar radiation transfer, and atmosphere-surface interactions, then implement the results in large-scale global models. With measured values for a starting point, the SCM predicts atmospheric variables during prescribed time periods. A computer calculates values for such quantities as the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface and predicts how clouds will evolve and interact with incoming light from the sun. Researchers compare the SCM's predictions with actual measurements made during the IOP, then adjust the submodels to make predictions more reliable. A second IOP conducted concurrently with the SCM IOP involves high-altitude, long-duration aircraft flights. The original plan was to use an unmanned aerospace vehicle (UAV), but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aircraft Proteus will be substituted because all UAVs have been deployed elsewhere. The UAV is a small, instrument-equipped, remote-control plane that is operated from the ground by a computer. The Proteus is a manned aircraft, originally designed to carry telecommunications relay equipment, that can be reconfigured for uses such as reconnaissance and surveillance, commercial imaging, launching of small space satellites, and atmospheric research. The plane is designed for two on-board pilots in a pressurized cabin, flying to altitudes up to 65,000 feet for as long as 18 hours. The Proteus has a variable wingspan of 77-92 feet and is 56 feet long. The plane can carry up ...
Date: December 3, 2002
Creator: Holdridge, D. J.