NOAA Researchers Share Science of Storms at San Francisco Exploratorium

NSSL Mesonet vehicle at the Exploratorium

NSSL Mesonet vehicle at the Exploratorium

The partnership is the result of a five-year educational grant with NOAA to co-develop interactive exhibits, learning experiences and professional development workshops for the learning institution.

NSSL retired researcher Dave Rust shared his thunderstorm electricity expertise and his skill at creating weather measuring instruments.  Dave pioneered the use of free-flying balloons and mobile laboratories to make observations, significantly advancing thunderstorm science.

Susan Cobb, NSSL meteorologist and science writer, shared her experience that includes forecasting for locations all over the world, and writing about weather science for all audiences. Susan worked with visitors to understand, experience and forecast weather in the San Francisco area and around the world.

Sean Waugh is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma and an instrumentation specialist working with the NOAA NSSL.  He helped design and build seven Mobile Mesonets, storm research cars outfitted with weather instruments, computers, and communications equipment. Sean gave personal tours of the Mobile Mesonet and focused on ways NSSL collects data to learn more about storms.

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory’s mission to improve our knowledge of severe weather and to develop new tools to better forecast and warn of its hazards has endured since its establishment in 1964. The Exploratorium first opened in 1969 and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year.