RAL Wins Three Outstanding Achievement Awards

RAL wins NCAR awards for Outstanding Publication; Scientific and Technical Advancement; and Education and Outreach.

Tom Warner's award being received on stage.
Tom Warner's posthumous award was received by Scott Swerdlin (RAL) and Tom's wife, Susan Warner. 


Outstanding Publication Award

Tom Warner (RAL), posthumously, for his book “Numerical Weather and Climate Prediction.” The book provides an exceptionally well-written account of the practical and cutting-edge aspects of numerical predictions, with a particular emphasis on understanding model processes, as well as their limitations and how errors affect solutions. It includes clear descriptions of best practices, predictability, operational forecasting, and a wide range of special applications of numerical models not found in previous textbooks. This volume is a comprehensive reflection of the author’s far-reaching experience gained through thirty years of teaching courses on numerical weather and climate prediction as well as mentoring a long line of graduate students and young professionals. Each chapter includes useful exercises and suggests further reading material. It is “a rich, effectively written and comprehensive detailed summary of the field of atmospheric modeling from local to global scales. It should be in the library of all meteorologists, climate researchers, and other scientists who are interested in the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of modeling.”  This textbook has already reached Cambridge University Press’s top-ten bestselling titles in atmospheric science and meteorology, despite its very recent publication. The author has written a standout textbook that provides a comprehensive yet accessible treatment of weather and climate predictions, which will serve graduate students, researchers, and professionals alike. 


Scientific and Technical AdvancementGroup photo of RAL winners

RAL's William Mahoney, Gerry Wiener, Bill Myers, Yubao Liu, David Johnson, Seth Linden, Will Cheng, Brice Lambi, Arnaud Dumont, Julia Pearson, Luca Delle Monache, Gregory Roux, Branko Kosovic, John Exby, Yuewei Liu, Frank McDonough, Becky Ruttenburg, Doug Small, Tom Hopson, Wanli Wu, Alemu Tadesse, and Sue Ellen Haupt, for the NCAR/RAL Wind Power Forecasting System that enables utilities to integrate large amounts of wind energy into the power grid by providing comprehensive forecasts of wind power generation. Accurate forecasts are crucial for efficient energy planning and resource management as well as for advancing the role of wind energy as a major component of our national energy supply. The RAL team has collaborated with Xcel Energy over the past 2.5 years to develop an advanced wind power prediction system. Implementation of the system has resulted in a 40% reduction in wind energy prediction error, improving the integration of wind power into the electric grid and, in 2010 alone, saved Xcel Energy rate-payers $6 million. This wind energy forecasting system is widely considered—nationally and internationally—to be the most advanced system of its kind. A NOAA evaluation of the system’s performance skill and associated cost savings conducted for the Utility Wind Integration Group concluded that a national rollout of NCAR’s system would save the nation’s utilities approximately $4.5 billion per year.


Award winners on stage receiving award Education and Outreach

Rita Roberts and Jim Wilson (both RAL), for teaching students, scientists, and weather forecasters how to make better forecasts of convective weather. They do this with the Autonowcaster, a forecast decision system that incorporates much of their research and is now operational in selected U.S. National Weather Service, Army, and international forecast offices.  They are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in short-term forecasting of thunderstorms and for their commitment to share their knowledge with others. They have taught at 15 international scientific workshops in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization and National Weather Service in the U.S. and abroad, conducted focused training programs, created interactive learning modules and other instructional materials, and hosted long-term visitors sent to NCAR for more intensive training. The impact of their work is profound. In giving the gift of information, knowledge, and skills, they have created new scientific capabilities for teachers and students, and for weather forecasters serving the general public.