HRD Seminar: Dr. Tim Schneider, ESRL/GSD – 11 April 2014

Dr. Schneider presented a seminar on “NOAA High Impact Weather Prediction Project (HIWPP): An Overview”.  A recording of the presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site:

Schneider's presentation

Schneider’s presentation

HRD Monthly Science Meeting of April 2014

March’s Science meeting had 3 presentations:

  1. Sim Aberson – “Vortex-scale targeting”
  2. Tim Schneider (ESRL/GSD) – “NOAA High Impact Weather Prediction Project (HIWPP)”
  3. Tomislava Vukicevic – “Accounting for Microphysics Uncertainty in Ensemble Prediction and/or Data Assimilation”

The presentations are available on the anonymous ftp site as a zip archive at:


10th Anniversary of Typhoon Sudal striking Yap


Typhoon Sudal over Yap (NOAA GOES-9)

     On April 9, 2004, Typhoon Sudal’s (Cosme in the PAGASA naming scheme) eyewall passed over the island of Yap of the Federated States of Micronesia.  It raked the island with 115 mph (185 km/hr) winds and 7.9 inches (20 cm) of rain.  A day later the storm’s estimated one-minute sustained winds peaked at 150 mph (240 km/hr).  Over 90% of structures on the island were damaged leaving US$14 million in destruction but no direct deaths.  Additionally, Sudal inflicted minor damage on Chuuk, Guam, Rota and the Caroline Islands in its path across the Pacific.


15th Anniversary of Cyclone Gwenda reaching maximum intensity


Severe Tropical Cyclone Gwenda near peak intensity (NOAA)

    On April 6, 1999, Severe Tropical Cyclone Gwenda reached record intensity (up to that time) for an Australian tropical cyclone.  As it idled off Australia’s northwest coast the one-minute sustained winds were estimated to peak at 150 mph (240 km/hr).  The estimated central pressure of 900 mb exceeded the estimated record pressure for Cyclone Vance (910 mb) which had occurred but a month before.  Luckily, as the storm recurved toward the Western Australia shore wind shear caused it to weaken and it was only Category 2 on the Australian Tropical Cyclone intensity scale by the time it made landfall near Port Hedland.  The storm added little damage to that already suffered from Cyclone Vance.  Gwenda held this record until Cyclone Inigo in 2003.


HRD researchers and colleagues win 2014 AMS Banner I. Miller Award

At the 31st Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology a paper coauthored by Pennsylvania State University researchers Fuqing Zhang and Yonghui Weng together with HRD researchers John F. Gamache and Frank D. Marks titled “Performance of convection‐permitting hurricane initialization and prediction during 2008–2010 with ensemble data assimilation of inner‐core airborne Doppler radar observations” received the AMS Banner I. Miller Award. The Banner I. Miller Award is presented for an outstanding contribution to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting published in a journal with international circulation during the past 48 months.


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Jennifer Calderon-Diaz awarded NOAA Team Member of the Month


Jennifer Calderon-Diaz, HRD’s Administrative Assistant, has been named NOAA’s Team Member of the Month.  As part of her job, Jennifer supports HRD’s annual Field Program by coordinating HRD research scientists for flight missions around and into the storms.  The uncertainty of when and where storms will develop often requires her to accomplish this at a moment’s notice.  During the 2013 furlough period, she was called back to duty to support missions into Tropical Storm Karen. On very short notice, she had to prepare all travel logistics manually and managed to accomplish this within four hours ensuring the success of the missions.  HRD would not be able to do the science we do without her great efforts.  Congratulations Jennifer!

10th Anniversary of NOAA/NSTA Severe Weather poster



In April of 2004, NOAAm in conjunction with the National Science Teachers’ Associationm issued an informational poster on severe weather for use in schools across the United States.  It was sent to over 50,000 elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.  Another 20,000 copies were distributed to individual teachers and students over the next five years.  At the height of its popularity, the poster was seen by an estimated 8 million students on a daily basis.  AOML’s Evan Forde took the lead in coordinating the input from NOAA scientists to NSTA graphic artists.

30th Anniversary of first seasonal hurricane forecast by Colorado State University


 Bill Gray in 2006

     In April of 1984, Bill Gray and a team of meteorologists from Colorado State University issued their first seasonal hurricane forecast.  This was the first attempt to prognosticate the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin for the coming year using statistical correlations with various parameters, such as rainfall in Africa’s Sahel region, the presence of El Niño, and the phase of the Quasi-biennial Oscillation.  The annual effort has continued since then, although in recent years lack of funding has threatened to end it.  Numerous modifications have been made in the methodology but this the longest running tropical cyclone seasonal forecast effort among its various rivals that are now issued by other institutions and governments.


NOAA Hurricane Research overview for WMO Region IV Training Workshop, NHC – 10 March 2014

The slides from HRD scientist Rob Rogers’s presentation to the World Meteorological Organization Regional Association IV Training Workshop held in the National Hurricane Center media room are available on the anonymous ftp site:

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10th Anniversary of Cyclone Catarina



Catarina near its peak intensity. (NASA – MODIS)

    On March 28, 2004, a rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone smashed into the Brazilian coast.  Tropical cyclone development in this region is scarce due to the lack of favorable conditions, such as low shear or easterly waves coming off of Africa.  In this case, Catarina formed from a stationary cold-core low along a trough that remained stalled over warm waters until convection was able to establish a warm core.  The cyclone then drifted westward and struck Santa Catarina province with 110 mph (180 km/hr) gusts.  It cause US$350 million damage and killed three people.



Cyclone Catarina’s track (Wikipedia)

     Due to scarcity of tropical cyclones in this basin, there are no official name lists for them.  The unofficial name ‘Catarina’ was adopted from the province where the storm came ashore.  The only other previous recorded instance of a South Atlantic tropical cyclone was a tropical depression forming off the Congo in Africa in 1991.  Since Catarina, Anita formed in 2010 and Subtropical Storm Arani developed in 2011.