Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Designer/Developer Tools For Students from Microsoft

If you are a college or university student you can download (for free!) the following professional-level design and development tools from Microsoft:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Expression Studio (includes Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Media and Expression Design)
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition, with SP2
This is in addition to the free Express editions of Visual Studio and SQL Server that anyone can download for free. For full details, visit the DreamSpark web site:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BASC to Investigate Global Flows of Air Pollutants

The following call for nominations for members of a new BASC committee has been received from study director Curtis Marshall:

The National Academies
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

The Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate is pleased to announce the formation of a new committee to study, The Significance of International Support of Air Pollutants. The purpose of this study is to summarize the state of knowledge regarding the international flows of air pollutants into and out of the United States and across its various regions on continental and intercontinental scales. The study will inform efforts by the United States government to develop domestic and international environmental policies and contribute to an international assessment being conducted under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution’s Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution. The committee will meet 5 times over the course of approximately 18 months, with one of its meetings in conjunction with a major workshop on the study topic.

At this time, we are soliciting nominations for committee membership. We will appoint a committee of approximately 14 members with experience and expertise related to all the items in the Statement of Task (Please see the attached Study Description for the Statement of Task). At least two international members will be included (one from Europe, one from East Asia ). The committee will have significant expertise in ozone and particulate matter and include expertise in atmospheric composition observations from surface networks, aircraft, and satellites; global and regional modeling of meteorology and atmospheric chemistry; multi-media modeling of pollutant transport; and current and future anthropogenic and natural emissions. To nominate an individual for committee membership, please send the person’s name, affiliation, contact information, and a brief statement on his or her qualifications to Dr. Curtis Marshall, Study Director, at Please provide a courtesy copy to Rob Greenway, Senior Project Assistant, at Please submit your nominations by Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

Thank you for your assistance.

[Note: This email has been sent to several distribution lists. My apologies if you receive multiple copies.]

Curtis H. Marshall, Ph.D.
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
The National Academies / National Research Council
500 Fifth Street, NW , Room 631
Washington , DC 20001

Ph: (202) 334-3533
Fax: (202) 334-3825

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tragedy in the White Mountains Hits Close to Home

Most week days I take the 5:30 AM commuter bus from my hometown of Londonderry NH to Boston. For about the past year we have had a regular driver on this route. Fred is one of the best Concord Coach drivers -- always friendly, and always early, so passengers can wait inside the bus, and get of out of the winter weather. Always, that is, until yesterday morning.

Yesterday the 5:30 AM bus never showed up. It was not a good day to be waiting outside for it. The temperature was about 7 deg F., and the wind was blowing hard and steady. The chill went right through you.

Bill, the ticket seller at the Park and Ride lot, tried to get Fred on his cell phone, but was unsuccessful. He also called the Concord Coach office, but no one there (not many, I'm sure, at 5:30 AM) knew where either the bus or Fred was. Finally, at about 5:50 AM the 6:00 AM bus arrived, and two bus loads of passengers tried to jam in.

All day long I wondered what had happened to Fred and the 5:30 AM bus. He is very reliable, and always calls Bill if he is running late. Not showing up, and not calling is not in character. So, while boarding the bus back to Londonderry yesterday afternoon I asked the driver if he knew what had happened. He didn't.

This morning I found out. Our substitute driver on the 5:30 AM bus told us that Fred and James (another very well-liked Concord Coach driver) were rescued yesterday in the White Mountains and sent to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. That prompted me to search the Internet, where I found the story in today's Concord Monitor. Here is a brief excerpt.

Two hikers who were missing in Franconia Notch since Sunday were rescued last night by a search team that fought snow squalls, low temperatures and freezing fog.

Laurence "Fred" Frederickson, 55, of South Sutton and James Osborne, 36, of Manchester were found on Little Haystack about 7:30 last night, the Associated Press reported. They were taken to Littleton Regional Hospital for treatment of severe hypothermia.

Both men work for Concord Coach Lines. Osborne manages the Boston Express Bus. The two had planned to hike the Falling Waters Trail to Franconia Ridge, to the 5,260-foot summit of Lafayette and down the Old Bridle Path trail.

Lt. Todd Bogardus of New Hampshire Fish and Game said the trails were not heavily traveled Sunday because of poor weather conditions. While Frederickson was an experienced winter hiker, Bogardus said, it may have been Osborne's first winter hike.
Frederickson's ex-wife, Bette Frederickson, who also lives in Sutton, was frantic after hearing the news yesterday afternoon.

Fred and Bette Frederickson, who were married about 12 years, met at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Cardigan lodge, where he was working and she was taking a course. They honeymooned hiking in the Adirondacks. Bette Frederickson said Fred has vast winter hiking experience and has hiked all of New Hampshire's 4,000-footers.
"Fred is never late for work," Bette Frederickson said. "I don't think Jim is either. Both of them - and (coworkers) knew that both of them were hiking - were missing."
The winds at the top of Mount Washington were gusting at 93 mph just before 5 p.m. last night, causing a wind chill of 50 degrees below zero. James Brown, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said weather at the other peaks was likely slightly less fierce but similar.

On the way in to Boston this morning, the driver announced over the PA system that he just learned that Fred had died. An excerpt from today's Manchester Union Leader provides some additional details.

LINCOLN – One of two hikers found last night on a frigid, windswept Mount Lafayette has died, according to a hospital spokesman.

Laurence 'Fred' Frederickson, 55, of South Sutton, was pronounced dead on arrival at Littleton Regional Hospital, a spokesman said.

Frederickson's hiking companion, James Osborne, 36, of Manchester, was in critical condition, suffering from severe hypothermia when he arrived in Littleton. He was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where this morning he is in critical condition in the intensive care unit, according to a hospital official.
The discovery ended hours of searching that took place during one of the coldest periods of this winter. Search officials said conditions were treacherous, with subzero temperatures, 60-plus mph winds and freezing fog.

Sadly, stories like this are not new or uncommon. For more than 30 years, at first while living in Colorado, and now in New Hampshire, I have heard scores of local news stories about hikers who became stranded on back country trails when the weather worsened. Many of the hikers were inexperienced. But some, like Fred, had lots of experience. Often the outcomes are happy; too often they are not.

This is the first time -- in all those years -- that the news story has been about people whom I know and admire. I hope to God that this is also the last time.

Farewell, Fred, you will be missed by everyone whose life you have touched.

Godspeed James, we wish you a full and fast recovery.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Road Weather News from Paul Pisano

Paul Pisano, Chair of the AMS Committee on Intelligent Transportation Systems / Surface Transportation , and Team Leader of the Road Weather Management Program at the Federal Highway Administration provides this update (20 December 2007):

Clarus Initiative Coordinating Committee,

Here are a few Road Weather news items that I would like to share with you:

The Clarus Regional Demonstration continues to move forward. The 3 multi-state teams are diligently working on their Concepts of Operation (ConOps), which will describe road weather management strategies that use the quality-checked observations coming from the Clarus system. Eight State DOTs are currently providing data into the Clarus system, along with 3 Canadian Provinces. We are working to add more States to the system through the Clarus Connection Incentive Program. This program provides grants to State DOTs to help get them connected to the system. In addition, we continue to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to ensure a smooth transition of Clarus to the operational observing system that they are building.

And speaking of applications that build off of the Clarus system, Release 5.0 of the Maintenance Decision Support System is available via the NCAR Web site.

Looking farther ahead in 2008, there are three conferences worth highlighting. The first two, which will be held back-to-back, are the 4th National Conference on Surface Transportation Weather and the 7th International Symposium on Snow Removal and Ice Control Technology. These conferences will be June 16-19 in Indianapolis , Indiana. The third conference is entitled, “Safety in Mobility 2008: Intelligent Weather Information Systems and Services for Traffic and Transport.” It will be held July 9-11, 2008, in Klagenfurt , Austria .

And of course there are two very big conferences on the immediate horizon: the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meetings. Here are a few highlights for each:

Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

TRB will take place in Washington DC from January 13-17, 2008.

-- There will be a spotlight session (#295) on weather and multi-model transportation on Monday, 14 Jan from 1:30-3:15pm. The panelists will be speaking about a variety of weather-related programs and the transition from research to operations

-- Immediately following and in the same room is another spotlight session, #350, entitled “Partnering to Respond to the Perfect Snowstorm: Colorado , New York and Pennsylvania Experiences”

-- The TRB Surface Transportation Weather Task Force will hold their meeting on Monday, 14 Jan from 7:30-9:30pm. Everyone is welcome.

-- Session #465 from 10:15-noon on Tuesday, 15 Jan will focus on “Impacts on Weather on Transportation Operations”

-- Session #494 from 1:30-3:15pm on Tuesday, 15 Jan will focus on Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII). Dr. Kevin Petty of NCAR will be making a presentation on “VII-Enabled Road Weather Products and Applications”

-- The TRB Winter Maintenance Committee will hold their meeting on Tuesday, 15 Jan from 7:30-9:30pm. Everyone is welcome.

-- Session #691 from 2:30-4pm on Wednesday, 16 Jan is titled “Weather and Road Surface Conditions”. The focus of this session will be on modeling road weather conditions

-- Session #720 from 4:30-6pm on Wednesday, 16 Jan is titled “Weather Data Applications in Transportation”. The session includes a discussion of a Benefit/Cost Analysis on the Pooled-Fund MDSS

American Meteorological Society Annual meeting

The AMS Annual Meeting will be held in New Orleans from January 20-24, 2008.

-- A joint meeting of the AMS Intelligent Transportation Systems/Surface Transportation Committee (ITS/STC) and the ITS America Weather Information Applications Special Interest Group (WIASIG) will be held from 2-4pm on Wednesday, 23 Jan in the Starboard Room of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. All are welcome.

-- The ITS/STC is sponsoring a one-day course on Surface Transportation Meteorology on Sunday, 20 Jan. While the focus will be on meteorology, all of the instructors will be from this stakeholder group, including State DOT participants.

-- Session 8 of the IIPS Conference is titled “Advances and Applications in Surface Transportation Weather”. This session will run from 8:30am-12:15pm on Thursday, 24 Jan. There will be several interesting presentations on weather applications including Clarus and VII.

We are still in the planning stages for our next MDSS & Clarus stakeholder meetings which will probably take place in the August/September 2008 timeframe. If you are interested in hosting these meetings and have a facility that can hold ~125 people, please let me know.

On behalf of myself and the entire FHWA Road Weather Team, I would like to wish everyone a safe holiday and a healthy new year.

Best Regards,

Paul Pisano
Team Leader, Road Weather Management
Federal Highway

Monday, December 10, 2007

NWS Partners & Family of Services Meeting

The National Weather Service invites all interested members of the weather and climate community to register (no charge) to attend their next NWS Partners and Family of Services meeting in New Orleans in January 2008:


The National Weather Service Partners Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Family of Services meeting at the AMS annual meeting in New Orleans on Thursday, January 24th 2008 from 10:45 am till noon CST. Some featured topics for this meeting are Storm Based Warnings, Convective Watch Lead Time, Marine and Hurricane Product Updates, and Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). An update on the Action Items from the summer 2007 NWS Partners meeting will also be provided. The meeting will conclude with an interactive session to identify the top 10 partner needs/requirements. Jack Hayes, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services will be in attendance so we hope to see you there!!

If you plan on attending or would like to review a draft agenda, please visit the NWS partners web page at:

You may also register online at:

Questions or comments by e-mail or telephone can be directed to either me John Simensky, (301) 713-0090 ext 150, or Ron Gird,, 301-713-0090 x154.

CWSA Reception

The Commercial Weather Services Association invites all interested members of the weather and climate community to attend their reception at the AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans in January:

Dear Members of America's Weather Enterprise:

Our 88th AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana is quickly approaching, and we wanted to take this opportunity to personally invite you to our annual CWSA Reception. Take a minute to include it on your schedule -- we know you'll be glad you did!

Annual CWSA Reception:

  • When: Sunday Evening, Jan. 20th, 7-9 PM
  • Where: Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, Rosedown Room

The reception will include some great local cuisine and a cash bar will be available. This gathering will be a great opportunity to visit with old friends.

Please join us -- all members of CWSA would be delighted to see you in New Orleans.

Warmest Regards this Holiday Season ,



Commercial Weather Services Association
Steven A. Root, CCM
President & CEO
WeatherBank, Inc.
1015 Waterwood Parkway, Suite J
Edmond, OK 73034

Chief Government Relations Officer,

Commercial Weather Services Association
Barry L ee Myers
Chief Executive Officer

AccuWeather, Inc.
385 Science Park Dr.
State College, PA 16803

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Next Enterprise Commissioner will be ...

Joe Friday!

At the end of the AMS Meeting in New Orleans in January 2008, George Frederick will rotate to the position of Past Commissioner and Joe Friday will take over as Commissioner of the AMS Commission on the Weather and Climate Enterprise.

Also, Bill Mahoney will rotate to the position of Past Chair and Pam Emch will take over as Chair of the CWCE Board for Enterprise Economic Development.

Stay tuned for announcements of other commission position rotations.