Friday, November 9, 2007

NOAA celebrates 200 years of science

Contributed by: NOAA News on 11/7/2007

(NOAA meteorologists Tom Schlatter and Nikki Prive test their skills on a mirror nephoscope, an antique instrument used to determine the direction and relative speed of cloud motion.

The instrument will be part of an old-time weather station recreated for a public celebration this Friday at NOAA's research center in Boulder. Provided by: NOAA)

NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Boulder campus will celebrate and commemorate the agency's 200-year legacy in science with a dedication ceremony, public activities, and teacher training from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9. All activities will take place at the agency's David Skaggs Research Center at 325 Broadway.

NOAA is hosting the public event as part of a year-long celebration to commemorate its 200 years of science, service and stewardship to the nation. Boulder mayor Mark Ruzzin and other local leaders will participate in the event.

"It all started in 1807 with President Thomas Jefferson'svision to support his fledgling nation's economy by ensuring safe maritime commerce. He accomplished this by creating the Survey of the Coast, the first federal science agency and the precursor to NOAA's navigation services," said Tim Keeney, NOAA deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere. "With his intense interest in weather and climate, Jefferson would certainly appreciate the world-class scientific community here in Boulder."

Keeney will present an award to U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, former congressman from the Boulder area, for his role in consolidating the agency's Colorado groups into the NOAA center in the late 1990s. Susan Graf, president and chief executive officer of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, will accept an award for the Chamber's role in attracting the federal labs to Boulder in the early 1950s.

The day's events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the dedication of a memorial marker placed by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey in the gardens just outside the main entrance on the west side of the building. At 10:30 a.m., visitors will be treated to a "Science Showcase" of new activities and demonstrations, many with a historical focus. Teachers are invited to visit the demos and participate in a special in-service training on Earth science.

Visitors will be able to follow a virtual underwater explorer through four of NOAA's marine sanctuaries, travel aboard a survey ship mapping the coastal ocean floor, mop up a disastrous oil spill, and experience the devastation algae can wreak during a red tide.

For real-world experience, share an expert's view of Boulder's fickle weather as a National Weather Service forecaster walks through a year of big storms. Get a preview of the upcoming weekend weather, spiced with fascinating insider trivia about Front Range climate. Then stop by an old-time weather station to check out a mirror nephoscope, a microbarograph, a Parisian thermograph, and other antique instruments with strange names that meteorologists used to track weather long before computers existed.

NOAA's Boulder lab is the best place in the world to see how scientists measure carbon dioxide levels around the globe, including Boulder County's carbon "footprint." Air-filled flasks arrive daily from remote corners of the planet to be analyzed in Boulder. The most powerful software to understand the world carbon cycle was launched right here last spring and produces colorful maps of atmospheric carbon levels daily.

On the space-weather front, guests will be able to look back through the ages to early evidence of sunspots and find out how they are related to spectacular auroras, or Northern Lights, which are sometimes visible here in Colorado.

Science on a Sphere will display brilliant global presentations of tsunamis, El NiƱo, a warming world, and what planet Earth looked like 600 million years ago.

Fresh baked goods will be on sale to benefit the Denver Botanic Gardens' certificate program in botanical art and illustration. Coffee will be provided at no charge by a local vendor.

Visitors must stop at the Visitor Center at the Rayleigh Avenue entrance before passing through the gate. Those 16 years old and over should bring a valid state or federal photo ID.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.


NOAA Boulder 200th celebration:

Weather Notes

"England: Storm surge flooding likely for eastern England"

[Nov 8 London]--Forecasters at the Met Office are providing the Environment Agency with the very latest weather information, ahead of a predicted storm surge down the North Sea.

A combination of north-westerly winds exceeding 50 m.p.h., low pressure and high tides could lead to severe flooding in the east of England. Areas at greatest risk are the Broads and the coast south of Great Yarmouth including Lowestoft and Felixstowe.

Sky News Video on British flood threat!

Update on Mexican floods!

Arthur Rabjohn MEXICO: Tens of thousands of Mexicans are threatened by ailments ranging from colds, respiratory illnesses and foot fungus. Authorities fear outbreaks of epidemics like cholera due to a lack of running water. Standing water attracts mosquitoes, carrying infectious diseases such as dengue. Government official said that fumigation of waterlogged areas would start in the next few days to reduce the risk of diseases.

Crocodiles and snakes taking to flooded streets are posing a new risk, as the reptiles have started swimming along flooded streets. The floods, caused by rivers overflowing after heavy rain, killed at least 3 people, damaging crops, homes, businesses and infrastructure. A further 4 people were killed, and 21 others were missing as a result of a huge mudslide.

Maritime Notes

Ouch! Here are some pix's from the USCG on the Cosco Busan collision with the Bay Bridge!

M/V Cosco Busan Allides With San Francisco Bay Bridge
SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 7, 2007)- The motor vessel Cosco Busan, a 900-foot container carrier, allided with one of the towers of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Wednesday morning, prompting a response from the Coast Guard, CALTRANS, the city of San Francisco and several other state and local agencies. Coast Guard photo.

And finally and most exciting....

National Storm Chasers Convention 2008 - Denver, Colorado (Click on rwister for further details!)

The 2008 National Storm Chaser Convention will be held February, 16-18, 2008 in Denver!

Hello everyone!

Just a preliminary FYI for the upcoming 2008 National Storm Chaser's Convention. It will be held Feb 15-17 (President's Day weekend as usual) in Denver, CO at the Radisson Southeast (same hotel as last year). Check out in the coming weeks for updates and more details. Friday evening will be the traditional ice breaker where you can meet your favorite speakers. Saturday will be a day full of great speakers and Keynote Speakers at the evening banquet that you DO NOT WANT TO MISS!! Sunday will be a day of teachings on your favorite severe weather subjects, followed by a spotter training class conducted by the local NWS.


Tune in by early December for the details.

Roger Hill and Tim Samaras

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Be sure and register NOW and secure your seat at the largest gathering of storm chasers in the world!