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 NASA Funded Scientists to Present Findings at Annual AMS Meeting

Southern California is widely considered to have the best year-round weather in the country. Seasons are almost non-existent, as the sun seems to shine for days on end. The promise of good weather might further entice thousands of meteorologists from around the world as they convene in San Diego for the 85th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting. The annual meeting takes place from January 9 through 13, 2005, at the San Diego Convention Center.

In the course of this event, NASA and NASA-funded weather and climate experts will present exciting new studies. Among the many NASA related results, highlights range from a discussion of temperature trends in California and causes behind changes there, as well as a talk on how dust that blows across the Atlantic Ocean from the Saharan desert can affect thunderstorms in Florida in various ways.

Other NASA-related events include an award being presented to William B. Rossow, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York who studies clouds and their relationships to climate. Dr. Rossow has won the 2005 Verner E. Suomi Award given by the AMS, and will be honored at an awards banquet on January 12.

This year's AMS meeting revolves around the theme, "Building the Earth Information System" and the role that science can play in decision-making for society.

The American Meteorological Society promotes research and the spreading of information and education on the atmospheric sciences, and how the atmosphere interacts with our oceans and water cycle. The AMS also seeks to help advance the application of these sciences in professional settings. Founded in 1919, AMS has a membership of more than 11,000 professionals, professors, students, and weather enthusiasts. AMS publishes nine atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals — in print and online — sponsors more than 12 conferences annually, and offers numerous programs and services.

Below is a list of some of the NASA-related highlights taking place at the meeting.

Saharan Dust Affects Thunderstorm Behavior in Florida

Scientists have discovered that tiny particles of dust that blow across the Atlantic Ocean from the Saharan desert can affect thunderstorms in Florida in various ways. In session 5, part of the 16th Conference on Planned and Inadvertent Weather Modification, Susan C. van den Heever of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. will make a presentation titled, "The impacts of Saharan dust on Florida storm characteristics." The presentation will occur on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT, in Meeting Room 7A.

Land Surface Albedo and its Impacts on Surface Climate

Sixteen remote sensing and climate modeling scientists will present the most recent research concerning albedo, which involves the ability of surfaces and objects to absorb or reflect solar radiation. Albedo from snow, vegetation and urban areas are all very important factors in climate change. On the subject of albedo, the scientists will discuss current observations from different landscapes, global and seasonal variations, affects on land climate, and computer modeling. Session 5, part of the 19th Conference on Hydrology, is titled "Land Surface Albedo and Its Impacts on Surface Climate." It will be held on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT, in Meeting Room 6D.

California Temperature Trend Patterns

Adding to the debate over what contributes the most to regional temperature changes, a new study investigates air temperature patterns in California from 1950-2000. Highly urban show the largest warming trends, while rural, non-agricultural regions show the least warming. Pacific sea surface temperatures, particularly Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) values, also contribute to temperature variability throughout the state. Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and co-authors, will present a poster paper titled, "Recent California climate variability: Spatial and temporal temperature trend patterns," during Poster Session 1, Poster Session: Climate Assessments, Drought, and Observed Climate Change. The presentation will take place on Monday, January 10, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT. Please see program guide for poster session location.

William B. Rossow Honored by American Meteorological Society

William B. Rossow, scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, has won the 2005 Verner E. Suomi Award given by the AMS, the nation's leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences. Rossow has also been selected as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Rossow is being recognized “for tireless efforts using multi-satellite observations to study clouds and their role in radiation and climate.” The Suomi Award is given to individuals in recognition of highly significant technological achievement in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The award will be presented at the Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. PT, in Ballroom 6.

Using Lightning to Better Predict Storms

This research looks at how lightning measurements might best be used to improve short-term (0-24 hr) weather forecasting. The researchers examine recently developed strategies for integrating lightning data into short-term forecasts of convective and severe weather hazards and the assimilation of lightning data into numerical weather prediction models. Steven Goodman of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will make a presentation titled, "Lightning and its application to improving short-range forecasting," as part of session 6, Application of lightning data in atmospheric process studies 1: Assimilation and forecasting. The presentation will occur on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT, in Meeting Room 2.



 
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