CW3E Hosts Winter Outlook Workshop with California DWR

CW3E Hosts Winter Outlook Workshop with California DWR

November 18, 2016

The California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) and CW3E led a working meeting with researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, November 16-18, 2016. The workshop focused on efforts to improve sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction of precipitation, which could help agencies better manage water resources.

“We’d all like to know if 2017 will be wet or dry, but determining that is scientifically difficult. We’re trying to emphasize the need for prioritizing this research in the science community,” said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager at CDWR.

Participants from the following agencies were in attendance: CW3E/Scripps, CDWR, Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Natonal Weather Service (NWS), Western States Federal Agency Support Team (WestFAST), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Plymouth State University (PSU), Oregon State University (OSU), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Salt River Project (SRP), Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), Desert Research Institute (DRI), and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).

Images courtesy DWR Photography – Florence Low

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Rachel Weihs

CW3E welcomes Dr. Rachel Weihs

August 8, 2016

Dr. Rachel Weihs started at CW3E in August 2016 as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Rachel earned her Ph.D. in Meteorology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida under the direction of Dr. Mark Bourassa. Her dissertation focused on understanding the role of high frequency variability of sea surface temperatures on the near-surface winds and atmospheric boundary layer as produced by the Weather Research and Forecasting model. In addition, she was able to quantify the relative impact of the local diurnal variability of sea surface temperatures on regional weather and deduce the importance of two-way air-sea feedback processes on the magnitude of diurnal heating in the upper ocean in the extratropical Atlantic. She is excited to have joined the CW3E team in August 2016 to study the influences of the Pacific Ocean on the forecasting of atmospheric rivers as well as examining the role of air-sea interaction on the boundary layer and the low level jet associated with these important weather phenomena.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Brian Henn

CW3E welcomes Dr. Brian Henn

August 8, 2016

Dr. Brian Henn started at CW3E in August 2016 as a Postdoctoral Scholar. He is a native of Northern California and received undergraduate and master’s degrees from Princeton and Stanford in civil and environmental engineering. With interests in hydrology, water resources and infrastructure, he worked as an engineer on urban stormwater and sustainability projects at Hazen and Sawyer in New York City. Brian pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington in the research group of Dr. Jessica Lundquist, receiving his Ph.D. in 2015. His dissertation used streamflow observations and novel modeling techniques to better understand orographic precipitation patterns over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. He is also a licensed civil engineer in California.
He is interested in better representing the heavy precipitation associated with Atmospheric Rivers making landfall over mountainous terrain. He looks forward to working with CW3E colleagues on understanding and predicting these events, which are crucial to the water supplies of the Western United States. He is also looking forward to sampling the best of San Diego’s many breweries and exploring Southern California’s mountains and trails.

CW3E represented in recent policy and program meetings

CW3E Represented in Recent Policy and Program Meetings

June 8, 2017

During the last few weeks CW3E’s perspectives have been highlighted at three science policy-oriented meetings. The connection between CW3E’s scientific activities, practical applications and water policy implications is a common theme among them. The meetings and a brief synopsis are provided below:

1) AGU Congressional briefing on role of basic Geoscience in American Security May 2016

AGU invited three speakers to a Congressional briefing they organized to communicate to staff supporting a number of elected officials and policy committees. The goal was to make the connection between basic science advances (and the funding that has supported them), and benefits to American Security. CW3E’s Director, Dr. Ralph, represented the role of basic geoscience research in advancing water security in the Western U.S. His presentation emphasized the critical roles of key science funding strategies, from standard grants programs, to directed research efforts, cooperative agreements and federal labs. And in the end concluded that many breakthrough advances result not from a systems engineering approach to deciding what to do, but from ideas that are “outside the box.” He also highlighted that science, at its core, is fundamentally a creative endeavor that requires long-term support for people in their careers and for the organizations that host them. AGU has posted a video of the briefings here.

2) NOAA Water Information “Listening Session” in Sacramento May 2016

NOAA invited water management stakeholders from across the West to hear about the National Water Center they are creating in Alabama and to listen to stakeholders interests and needs for weather and water information to support water supply, flood mitigation and endangered species restoration in the West. CW3E was represented by Dr. Ralph, who brought Scripps science into the discussion, and supported major points presented by water managers concerning the vital role of atmospheric rivers in western water decisions. NOAA held one other regional “listening session” – in Alabama, and is holding one more “National” session in July. They will be considering input from these meeting as they develop their agency’s strategies in the coming years to support water information needs for the nation.

3) WSWC S2S Workshop San Diego June 2016

The National Academies of Science recently released a report on the subject of science needed to enable subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions to support decisions. The Western States Water Council (a group supporting the Governors of 17 Western States) organized a regional Workshop in San Diego in early June to discuss both the user requirements for better forecasts and the science opportunities to achieve them. CW3E was represented well, including participation by Sasha Gerhunov, Tamara Shulgina and Marty Ralph, including a presentation by Marty on observing system needs to support the goals.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Anna Wilson

CW3E welcomes Dr. Anna Wilson

June 1, 2016

Dr. Anna M. Wilson has joined CW3E at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a Postdoctoral Scholar after earning her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering under the direction of Dr. Ana Barros at Duke University earlier this year. Her dissertation research focused on understanding the space-time structure of low level warm season precipitation processes in complex terrain, using an approach integrating numerical models and in situ and remote observations. During her Ph.D., Anna was able to amass extensive experience working with ground based instruments in the field through participation in a number of different NASA Global Precipitation Mission Ground Validation field campaigns. She is excited to work with her colleagues at CW3E and partner organizations to provide essential support to decision makers at all time scales through developing physically based, accurate representations of atmospheric rivers and other extreme events in forecasts and projections. In particular, she will be studying the origins of variance in the relationship between upslope water vapor flux in atmospheric rivers and precipitation in coastal northern California.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Scott Sellars

CW3E welcomes Dr. Scott Sellars

April 25, 2016

Dr. Scott L. Sellars has joined CW3E at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to work on improving the understanding and forecasting of hydrologic extremes and their impacts on water resource management in the Western United States. Scott’s previous research has been in the area of hydrometeorology and climate, with a particular focus on computational science methodologies applied to remote sensing information for understanding connections between weather and hydrological events. He has previously held appointments at the University of California, Irvine, Columbia University’s Columbia Water Center (CWC), Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). His Ph.D. is on seasonal hydrometeorological prediction, awarded in 2014, and was undertaken at the University of California, Irvine.

CW3E Welcomes Brian Kawzenuk

CW3E welcomes Brian Kawzenuk

March 30, 2015

CW3E is pleased to welcome Brian Kawzenuk as a staff research associate. Brian joins us from completing his master’s work with Dr. Jason Cordeira at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. At Plymouth Brian investigated the impacts of land-falling atmospheric rivers (ARs) on the west coast during February 2014. The structure and dynamics of AR events as well as their influence on extreme precipitation over the west coast were explored. Brian looks forward to continuing his study of AR events and using his extensive analytic and programming skills to help the CW3E team develop stakeholder tools. Brian grew up in central New York State and has always had a passion for meteorology. We’re delighted to welcome him to the team and hope he enjoys the milder climate of the La Jolla region.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Andrew Martin

CW3E welcomes Dr. Andrew Martin

August 12, 2014

Dr. Andrew Martin has joined the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes to assist in developing a specialized numerical weather prediction system tailored to predicting extreme precipitation events in the West. Andrew is also actively involved in planning CW3E’s participation in the multi-agency CalWater-2 field campaign. Dr. Martin has a background in aerosols in numerical weather prediction, specifically in cloud microphysics and shortwave radiation models. He received his PhD in meteorology from Florida State University in 2012. Under the direction of T. N. Krishnamurti, Andrew focused on black carbon aerosols and their direct radiative impact on the onset phase of the South Asian summer monsoon. After FSU, Dr. Martin accepted a postdoctoral appointment with Dr. Kim Prather’s group at the University of California, San Diego. Andrew worked with Dr. Prather to support the CalWater project using detailed numerical simulation of the impact of ice nucleating aerosols on North Pacific winter storms, including Atmospheric Rivers. Andrew hails from Albuquerque, NM. The southwestern United States, and the Rocky Mountains in particular, motivated his interest in water resources, mountain winter storms and monsoons. The western environment continues to feed Andrew’s extracurricular interests, which include backpacking, skiing, trail running and bicycling.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Julie Kalansky

CW3E welcomes Dr. Julie Kalansky

September 28, 2014

Julie joins CW3E as a Post-doctoral scholar after earning her PhD at Rutgers University earlier this year with Yair Rosenthal as her advisor. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between past climate and ocean circulation, and was entitled “Internal and Forced Variability of the Equatorial Pacific on Millennial and Centennial Time Scales”. Using Mg/Ca ratios from microfossils to reconstruct past water column temperatures she showed that the subsurface in the equatorial Pacific is important in storing and transferring heat during climate perturbations. Having grown up in California, she is excited to be back and working on research that is relevant to communities on the West coast. She looks forward to working with her colleagues to study linkages between short-term climate variability and extreme events on the west coast, and to help communicate the importance of atmospheric rivers and the latest scientific findings from CW3E to water managers and the broader community.

CW3E welcomes Dr. David Lavers

CW3E welcomes Dr. David Lavers

September 12, 2016

Dr. David Lavers has joined CW3E at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to work on improving understanding and forecasting of hydrologic extremes in the western United States. David’s previous research has been in the area of hydrometeorology, with a particular focus on atmospheric rivers (ARs). His work has included studying the connection between ARs and extreme precipitation and flood events across Europe and the Central United States, and investigating how ARs may change in the future. He has previously held appointments at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the University of Iowa, Princeton University, and the University of Reading UK. His PhD on seasonal hydrological prediction, awarded in 2011, was undertaken at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Wallingford) UK, and the University of Birmingham UK. Away from work David enjoys outdoor pursuits including hiking and cycling.