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UAlbany Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Department Launches Weather Blog

Read the blog: "Weather and Climate"

News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 10, 2011) -- The University at Albany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) today launched "Weather and Climate," a blog that will be a leading voice on regional and global weather and weather-related phenomena.

"Weather and Climate," hosted by the Times Union newspaper online, comprises the collective efforts of expert faculty and staff from the department, commenting on weather issues in the region and throughout the world. Topics covered include severe Northeast weather events such as snow storms, floods, hail, and wind storms; high-impact events affecting the U.S., including land-falling hurricanes; and conditions in the Pacific region related to El Nino or La Nina, and what they mean for the planet's weather patterns.

Given its importance to the health of the planet and the vast amount of conflicting information surrounding the issue, climate change will also be addressed by the blog's authors.

"Forecast: a great interactive experience"

"People talk about the weather and climate almost every day of their lives," said Christopher Thorncroft, chairman of DAES, "I am hoping this blog will be able to provide new information for readers about how weather and climate work, how forecasts work -- or don't! -- and, in particular, reasons why high impact events occur. We will also look forward to some lively posts and discussion about climate and climate change and how this is relevant to society."

"Weather is one of the few story lines that affect every one of our readers," said Michael Huber, the Times Union's interactive audience manager. 'We live in a region with dramatic weather changes through all four seasons, and this blog gives our readers an opportunity to join in a conversation with UAlbany’s weather experts. Forecast calls for a great interactive experience."

The audience for the blog, Thorncroft said, is anyone who has an interest in the weather and climate, especially those who want to learn more than they might get from traditional media outlets.

Contributors to "Weather and Climate" include DAES professors Paul Roundy, a climate variability expert; tropical weather and hurricane specialist Chris Thorncroft; climate change expert Mathias Vuille; staff members and meteorologists Ross Lazear and Kevin Tyle; graduate students Heather Archambault, Kyle Griffin and Matt Potter; and retired professor and former broadcast meteorologist Mike Landin.

University sign announces new DAES weather blog

The audience for the new blog is anyone who has an interest in the weather and climate, especially those who want to learn more than they might get from traditional media outlets. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

The authors expect to update the blog at least three or four times per week, Thorncroft said.
 
The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, part of the UAlbany's College of Arts and Sciences, carries out innovative research and provides internationally recognized training for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Department Highlights

One of the most prestigious members of the Department in its early years was the late Bernard Vonnegut who, in addition to working on weather modification, carried out research on electrification of storms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and aerosols. He published more than 190 papers and reports and received 28 patents.

A major department achievement was the establishment of the National Lightning Detection Network, which started as a mere four-station network in New York in 1982.

Starting in the 1990s, the synoptic-dynamics group, led by Distinguished Professor Lance Bosart, pioneered a collaborative arrangement with the National Weather Service (NWS) in programs called CSTAR (Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research Program) and COMET (Cooperative Meteorological Education and Training). The latter program involved internships for students to work with the regional NWS personnel housed at the University. The cooperation with NWS is one of the features that continues to attract undergraduate and graduate students to the atmospheric science programs at UAlbany today.

Boosted by the arrival of several new faculty over the last 10 years, the Department has been successful at mobilizing funds and carrying out research in a variety of areas of tropical meteorology, including hurricanes, monsoons, intra-seasonal variability, as well as climate variability and change. Hurricane research has received significant funding in recent years, including this year’s NASA supported Genesis and Rapid Intensification Program (GRIP) and NSF supported Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT), with funding just for these projects amounting to nearly $1 million.

Visit "Weather and Climate."

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit http://www.albany.edu/. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.