Saturday, December 14, 2013

Giving Thanks

After 11 days of hard work on the Tug, I began my return to Salt Lake City yesterday.  I thought you might enjoy some photos of the drive out.

For meteorologists, this is an iconic photo. 
Buried road sign.  West looks good to me. 
Stopping in Syracuse for a bite to eat was a bit of a culture shock, sort of like returning to civilization after a long backpack trip.  I will, however, be back on the Tug in January and may be able to post a few photos from my students as they continue operations through December 21.

Given my temporary departure, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the groups who have made the stories and photos I've been sharing possible, especially those who are so graciously enabling our students to travel to the Tug and gain a first class education in field research and lake-effect snow.

The first is the National Science Foundation, or what scientists call the NSF.  They are the primary supporter of the OWLeS project and have supported my research throughout my entire career, including graduate school.  This is a huge investment on their part and ultimately by the American tax payer that I don't take lightly.  We are having fun when we are in the field, but we are also doing valuable science that will advance knowledge and hopefully improve forecasts for your benefit.  The NSF is one reason why you have seen a clear improvement in the quality of weather forecasts over the past few decades and why you should be optimistic that forecasts are going to get even better in the future.

The second is the Edward J. Zipser Endowed Research Fund at the University of Utah.  Ed Zipser is a faculty member in my department and a world renowned hurricane researcher.  He and his wife Marelynn have given generously to our department to enable students opportunities to participate in field research of the type we are doing in OWLeS.  Many of his friends and collaborators have also contributed to this endowment.  Travel expenses for several of the students participating in our efforts are being supported by the Zipser Fund.  I think it is safe to say that these students have learned more about snow in a week than they would have in a semester in the classroom.

The University of Utah snow science team for OWLeS.  That's a U, for the University of Utah.
Finally, we have the Mountain Meteorology Fund at the University of Utah, which provides us with key support for maintaining a vibrant and healthy program in mountain weather and climate.

If you've enjoyed this blog and are interested in helping our research and our students in their educational endeavors, consider making a contribution to the Zipser or Mountain Meteorology fund.  Just click here to make a tax-deductable donation and specify the Zipser or Mountain Meteorology Fund in the special instructions area.  We really appreciate your interest and support.

Addendum @ 1025 EST:

Our 78 hour snow total for the period ending 1 PM 13 December was 66 inches with an average water content of 5.8%.  Even the most hardened Utah powder snobs were BLOWN AWAY by this storm.  What a dendrite fest.

1 comment:

  1. I live in Central New York and came across your blog as I was looking into exactly where the Tug Hill area was. I hear about it on the local news all the time but I didn't know specifically what they meant. Needless to say, after finding your posts I know more about snow than ever. The basic lake effect concept I was aware of, but never knew there was so much to it regarding water content and structure. Best of luck to you and the teams collecting data, it's interesting and important work and I'm going to stay tuned. Keep up the good work and come back to NY soon, you're always welcome.