Weather enthusiasts of all ages won’t want to miss the 5th Annual National Weather Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at the National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., in Norman. The free public event will feature tours, children’s activities, a storm chaser car show, hourly weather balloon launches with local broadcast meteorologists, weather related information and products, Science on a Sphere, and an amateur radio demonstration. Vehicles used in the VORTEX2 tornado study will also be on display.
Five NSSL/CIMMS researchers from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) in Norman, Okla., have earned the organization’s 2009 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award for work that is expected to enable earlier warnings for severe storms.
Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the NOAA National Weather Service, fire weather awareness and prevention is an important part of the mission.
VORTEX2 research vehicles each logged over 10,000 miles visiting nine states. Data was collected on 19 days out of 35. Teams deployed on 17 supercell thunderstorms, one of them tornadic, and 12 ordinary storms.
A collaborative nationwide project exploring the origins, structure and evolution of tornadoes will occur from May 10 through June 13 in the central United States. The project, Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2 (VORTEX2 or V2), is the largest and most ambitious attempt to study tornadoes in history and will involve more than 50 scientists and 40 research vehicles, including 10 mobile radars.
NSSL’s hail reporting program needs volunteers within 90 miles of Norman. Go to http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/projects/hasdex/
Emergency managers and media will exchange ideas with academia and federal government experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the ninth annual National Severe Weather Workshop March 5-7 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 2501 Conference Drive, Norman, Okla. Registration is underway for the three-day workshop, designed to enhance partnerships between severe weather forecasters and researchers, emergency managers, broadcast meteorologists, businesses, storm spotters and other weather enthusiasts. Participants will identify communities at risk, evaluate current and future tools for hazardous weather assessment, and discuss communication technologies and meteorological careers.
While NOAA forecasters warned residents to evacuate the Texas Coast, researchers were moving into position to scan the eyewall of Hurricane Ike. A crew from NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and the University of Oklahoma rode out the storm as they recorded the it’s power in their anchored vehicles.
North Carolina Sea Grant and NOAA’s multi-agency CI-FLOW (Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning) project is closely watching Tropical Storm Hanna. CI-FLOW is a project to demonstrate improved forecasts of inland and coastal floods and flash floods in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins, where flooding is expected over the weekend. Hanna will provide critical data for ongoing preliminary testing of CI-FLOW, which was initiated in response to the devastating human and economic from Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis in North Carolina in 1999.
This year may set records for tornadoes and tornado-related deaths. “We have already seen more than 115 tornado-related deaths, making this the deadliest tornado season since 1998,” said Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
“It is only the third time since the 1974 super tornado outbreak that there have been more than 100 tornado-related deaths during a single tornado season in the U.S.,” added Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory also in Norman. “In 1998 and 1984 there were 132 and 122 tornado-related deaths, respectively. 2008 will likely equal or exceed that record.”