RAL Features

Saturday, June 11, 2022 - 12:15pm

The Global Weather Notification system is a novel way to provide pilots with real-time, cutting-edge weather hazard information about rapidly developing adverse weather conditions.  The Aviation Applications Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) developed this system to deliver weather information to the cockpit by sending a text notifying the pilot of upcoming adv

Friday, April 1, 2022 - 2:00pm
Helicopter doing a water drop on a wildfire

Congratulations to RAL's team for winning the High Performance Computing (HPC) User Forum Innovation Excellence Award for their entry "Better wildfire models save property and life: refined fidelity of predictive models using AI.” The 

Friday, February 18, 2022 - 9:30am
A photograph of Portland downtown with rolling fog and autumn foliage in shining sunrise and colorful clouds

Fog is the second most common cause of weather-related aviation accidents behind strong winds. The impact of fog on the operations of the national airspace system can cost as much as $200,000 for just one single airport. Air traffic safety and efficiency would be improved if fog events were more accurately forecast by weather service providers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 12:00pm

Responding to extreme heat conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic could place many vulnerable populations at further risk during the warm summer months when many people leave their houses to escape the heat and visit cooling centers and other public spaces.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:30pm

The newly established South America affinity group website was set up to accelerate research and discoveries focusing on the water and energy cycle of South America.

Monday, May 4, 2020 - 12:00pm
drone over city with winds

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are emerging as the next major economic sector of society, as well as a new tool for sensing the lower atmosphere. However, these small autonomous aircraft are much more vulnerable to winds, turbulence and icing than manned aircraft. NCAR studies continue to drive predictive capabilities toward the microscale.

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 9:45am

COURTESY OF ITERIS (FORECASTING, WEATHER, WEATHER FORECASTING Blogs)This article was originally published in the MnDOT Newsline.By Anne Meyer on 11.20.19

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:30am
Dr. Gochis installing a monitoring system above Purple Lake, July 2019

The Annette Island Reserve is an island in Southeast Alaska and is home to the Metlakatla Indian Community (MIC), the only Indian reserve in Alaska. It comprises 87,000 acres which are critical fish and forestry resources to the community. The island locals rely on two primary lakes for drinking water and hydropower, Chester and Purple Lakes.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 8:00am
Early Warning Forecasts Speeding to Lake Victoria

Countries bordering Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater body in Africa and the biggest inland fishery in the world, lack effective early warning systems to protect those who depend on them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 2:30pm
Solar Energy

"The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and several research partners are moving into the final phase of a solar forecasting project, funded at $1.85 million, that will be able to predict solar energy generation to improve electric grid reliability and economic efficiency of power systems. The innovative solar study supports Governor Andrew M.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 9:00am
With the release of Lido/eRouteManual 5.0, Lido is providing pilots with live weather updates in their charting solution and additional airport weather information.

RAL's Weather Data Expertise in ActionRAL began this work as the Global Weather Hazard (GWH) project in 2015 with a partnership between Lufthansa Airlines, Basic Commerce & Industries, Inc. (BCI), NCAR and the Weather Solutions Division of the Sutron Corporation.

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 10:30am

RAL Director, William Mahoney, discusses using weather and climate modelsCOURTESY OF PBS News HourBy Miles O'Brien | May 8, 2019 PM

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 2:30pm
Sunset panorama of the Marshall Field Site with the Foothills in the background.

Measuring Up: Instrument Testing & Data Gathering at Marshall Field SiteHidden-in-plain-sight on over 70-acres of land southeast of Boulder is a world-class atmospheric research site, run and maintained by NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory (RAL), but open to the wider research community.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 4:00pm
SNOWIE - Advancing the Science of Cloud Seeding

COURTESY OF Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyBy Sarah A. Tessendorf | August 2, 2018

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 12:00pm
Ultimately, the study could help to reduce the rate of aircraft icing-related accidents and fatalities.

RAL expert quoted in NIU articleCOURTESY OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITYBy Tom Parisi | February 13, 2019 PM

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 11:45am
RAL Scientist, Scott Landolt, standing next to a precipitation guage in Antarctica (photo courtesy of Scott Landolt, https://icechaser.blogspot.com).

Scott made it to Antarctica November 5 with no weather delays.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 8:30am
NCAR flooding experts quoted in FiveThirtyEight article

NCAR flooding experts quoted in FiveThirtyEight articleCOURTESY OF FIVETHIRTYEIGHTBy Maggie Koerth-Baker | September 17, 2018, 12:42 PM | Filed under Weather

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 9:45am
The First Sunlight of Planet Earth

Imagine a wildfire is approaching a densely populated neighborhood. Emergency managers need to decide systematically and quickly on whether families should evacuate or stay put. These first responders need accurate information at both the mesoscale (the region’s weather) and microscale (the weather close to the terrain) levels, to make a timely determination.

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 12:00pm
NCAR Contributes to Study of First Quantifiable Observation of Cloud Seeding

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a prestigious, often-cited scientific journal that publishes rigorous peer-reviewed research, recently published a paper on a cloud-seeding field campaign that typifies a successful collaboration of private, public and academic partnerships. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 9:00am
Two NCAR Scientists Awarded the 2018 Aviation & Space Operations Weather Prize

Two National Center for Atmospheric (NCAR) experts on weather aviation hazards and safety were awarded the Aviation & Space Operations Weather Prize at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in January.

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 11:00am
NCAR Takes Part in Aviation Safety Summit Meeting

Aviation Safety Experts Focus on Heliport Safety, Altitude Integration, Weather GatheringLast week more than 50 aviation safety professionals and leaders from industry and government came together in Washington DC for this year’s USHST Infrastructure Summit.COURTESY OF 

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 10:00am
In a warmer climate, areas of North America will be a cauldron of intense summer storms

NCAR’s Andreas Prein and colleagues recently published a sobering paper in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Climate Change (www.nature.com) on the future of summer storms. Based on computer simulations on storms bubbling up in a warmer climate, the study concludes thunderstorms in the U.S.

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 8:00am

Saving lives and mitigating property losses—that’s what NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) is all about. And the 2017 tropical weather storms, Harvey, Irma and Maria, among other less notorious hurricanes, certainly put the 24/7 operation through its paces.

Friday, September 8, 2017 - 2:00pm

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 9:00am
Article on Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research

The Future of Drone Delivery Hinges on Predicting the Weather Block by BlockDrones could soon be flying you books, pills, and pizzas—but first, they’ve got to figure out what kind of wind gusts to expect on your street.COURTESY OF BLOOMB

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 11:00am

I should also add that NCAR delivered the model two years ahead of schedule and on budget.Antonio Busalacchi, UCAR PresidentOn April 4th, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies held a hearing to review federal, state, university, and private s

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:00am

Imagine cruising down Interstate 80 in Wyoming at the speed limit, 80 mph, when you suddenly hit a fog bank or an invisible layer of ice. What would you do? Slam on the brakes and pray? Or you’re a commercial trucker hauling a large shipment and your trailer is getting slammed by gusts – do you pull over or persevere and hope the winds die down?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 10:00am

Orographic precipitation and snowpack provide a vital water resource for the western U.S., while convective precipitation accounts for a significant part of annual precipitation in the eastern U.S. As a result, water managers are keenly interested in their fate under climate change. However, previous studies of water cycle changes in the U.S.

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:00pm
Augmenting Snowpack through Cloud Seeding - The Future is Now

California, in 2015, had the lowest snowpack levels in 500 years, forcing the governor to issue the state’s first mandatory water restrictions. Further east, winter storms over the Rocky Mountains, which provide much of the water that courses down the heavily-tapped Colorado River, have not been able to keep up with demand.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 8:00am
First NWP model specifically designed for solar power prediction

Recent upgrades to the NCAR’s Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) community model have provided an appropriate numerical weather prediction framework for solar power forecasting.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 2:00pm
Weather and Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS): How NCAR is Tackling This Challenge

As far as the potential drones have, the sky’s the limit. Well, up to 400 feet, that is.

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 2:00pm
Storm over the fields

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has named Martyn Clark an AGU Fellow.

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 9:00am
Robert  D.  Sharman Honored for Years of Outstanding Contributions

Robert  D.  Sharman, RAL Project Scientist, has been chosen as an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Fellow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 2:00pm
Coping with Adverse Winter Weather: Emerging Capabilities in Support of Airport and Airline Operations

The Journal of Air Traffic Control | FALL 2015 "Winter weather has the potential to significantly disrupt airport and airline operations yielding flight delays, diversions, and cancellations.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 9:00am
A Recognized Expert on Air Quality Topics

He lives in Boulder, but his heart resides in India. If you’re walking by his office, you may even hear the faint sound of Bollywood music. There sits Rajesh Kumar, Project Scientist in the National Security Applications Program, tapping his toes to the music while intently tapping his keyboard.

Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 3:00pm

NCAR scientist Kathleen Miller is le

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 3:00pm
Overlooking houses in Jaipur, India

Air pollution is a major global environmental risk to our health and food security. It is estimated to cause about 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide and destroys enough crops to feed millions of people every year.I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.- William Shakespeare

Friday, April 1, 2016 - 10:00am
Bruce Carmichael - NCAR Explorer Series

An estimated 70 percent of airline delays are due to weather costing billions of dollars each year. Two-thirds of these delays are thought to be avoidable. Higher resolution and more accurate weather information tools and technology developed by NCAR scientists help the aviation industry avoid delays and:

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 10:00am
MODE Time Domain (MTD) tool applied to hourly snowfall accumulations from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Time-Lagged Ensemble (HRRR-TLE).

In today’s highly technological world, quality control is everything. Whether it’s the latest smart phone, driverless car, or even weather forecast model, performance testing is the unsung hero in building a high-quality product.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 12:00pm
Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services

It’s one thing to state the quality of operational meteorological and hydrological short- and long-term forecasts, it’s another to be able to back it up with hard numbers, especially in times of constrained budgets. This is referred to as socio-economic benefits (SEB) analysis.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 11:00am
NCAR hosting workshop on vector-borne diseases related to climate

Lyme disease, dengue, plague, West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Babesia – diseases that make your skin crawl, and worse, make populations very sick. Experts from NCAR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and universities will meet in Boulder to discuss climate variability and change and its relation to vector-borne diseases.

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 1:00pm

“We’ve finished the job.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 11:00am
Scott Landolt, NCAR scientist, works with high school intern, Andy Sun, at the Marshall Field Site.

Most high school juniors and seniors this time of year are thinking about their summer plans: babysitting, mowing lawns, scooping ice cream, maybe college visits and applications. Other students are thinking about their future beyond their summer break.

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 2:00pm

Nevada Public Radio | April 13, 2015 by Casey Morell "As Nevada and the southwest continue to fight drought conditions, the state senate is debating increasing funding for cloud seeding...According to Dan Breed, a project scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, scientists generally use silver iodide to seed clouds.

Friday, April 10, 2015 - 11:30am

AtmosNews April 10, 2015 | Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter visited the Foothills Lab this week to talk with researchers about what science would be most useful for policymakers who make decisions about clean energy issues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 9:30am
credit Payton Peterson

AtmosNews :: NCAR + UCAR Videos on YOUTUBE, March 20, 2015 After working for more than a decade to tackle the challenges, NCAR and its research partners have developed two new prediction systems — one for wildfires and one for floods.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:45am
Gina Taberski (UCAR), Paul Kucera (NCAR), Edilberto Esquivel Marconi (ETESA) Jim Hurrell (NCAR Director), and Ivan Barria (ETESA)

In February, Panama’s Electricity Transmission Company SA (ETESA) and NCAR signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will address weather observation and forecasting, climate change, adaptation and will introduce a comprehensive climate change education program in the Central American country and region.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 11:30am

Bruce Krasnow | The New Mexican  State tourism advocates hope a video of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez rafting the Rio Grande near Pilar will help squash the image of New Mexico as a barren desert.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 11:00am
Matthias Steiner, RAL scientist, chosen as an AMS Fellow

Matthias Steiner, a scientist and program manager in RAL, has been chosen as an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Fellow

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:45pm

"I flew today and despite the turbulence I was mostly relaxed. You can call me a success." "I feel a bit rationale about turbulence now." -comments from former fearful flyers

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 3:00pm
Lightning Impacts on Aviation

Summer travel means vacation, sun, surf and…sometimes delayed flights and long wait times for your luggage. Welcome to the complex world of aviation and its sensitivity to the vagaries and challenges of weather.

Monday, April 7, 2014 - 9:15am

Paty Romero-Lankao helping finalize the IPCC AR5 WGII (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Fifth Assessment Report - Working Group II) Summary for Policy Makers assessing climate change impacts, societal vulnerabilities and our options for adapting to climate change.

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 1:45pm
GIS Climate Inspector Tool

Climate Inspector is the newest addition to the NCAR GIS Program's Climate Change Scenarios web portal.  This portal has offered downloadable climate change data in a GIS format to users since 2005.  The Climate Inspector is an interactive web application which expands Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping

Friday, October 4, 2013 - 3:00pm
Longmont Flood - 2013 - credit Payton Peterson

The deadly flood that occurred in the Front Range during the week of September 10th, 2013 is believed to be the worst in the state’s history. It claimed several lives and damaged numerous homes and roads.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 11:00am
Roelof Bruintjes receives Schaefer Award

The Weather Modification Association (WMA) recently recognized RAL scientist Roelof Bruintjes with the Schaefer Award – described by the WMA as their most coveted prize.

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 3:30pm
UCAR Ban Ki-moon visit

One of the most distinguished guests in NCAR’s 53-year history paid a whirlwind visit to the Mesa Lab this morning. Accompanied by security and support staff, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spent about an hour with UCAR and NCAR leaders and scientists in the Damon Room for a lively briefing and Q&A session on current climate research.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 10:15am

RAL scientist Fei Chen has been named an AMS Fellow for 2013.  Fei specializes in modeling and observing interactions between the land surface and atmosphere, including the effects of wildfires and urban development.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 10:00am

Colleagues and admirers of the late scientist Thomas T. Warner at NCAR's Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) and Advance Study Program (ASP) recently created an internship program in his name. The Warner Internship for Scientific Enrichment (WISE) offers $2500 to a student of ASP's Graduate Student Visitor Program who offers to volunteer his or her time to promote service and diversity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 10:30am
Climate Change Scenarios for GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users can now access climate data more easily thanks to a recent redesign of the Climate Change Scenarios web page (https://gisclimatechange.ucar.edu/).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 10:45am

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 11:00am

RAL offers many different web sites where weather experts and the public alike can retrieve useful weather information.  Sites like the Aviation Digital Data Service  and RAL’s Real-Time Weather Data webpage provide unique platforms for users to visualize observations and forecast products (some of which are created by RAL’s own scientists and engineers).  A similar kind of site has just been b

Friday, July 1, 2011 - 11:00am

Those who work in the aviation sector require a large amount of information to route, plan, and make decisions about air traffic control, aircraft, and airport operations.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 11:00am

With the increasing awareness of global and regional climate change, water managers are rightly concerned about potential impact on water source in the western U.S., especially given recent studies predicting unprecedented drought conditions in the Southwest U.S. caused by rising temperatures (4th IPCC Assessment).

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