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Hurricane Images and Data Used Widely

by Terri Gregory, SSEC Public Information Specialist
February 1999

Also In
the News...

In Print

On the Air

From the Web


Coming Up

In the News Gary Wade provided a satellite image for National Geographic’s Satellite Atlas of the World, released before the holidays. Gary’s picture, one of nine colored whole-earth images on the book jacket and in the middle of the bottom row, shows the earth in infrared, as imaged by GOES-8. The nine small satellite images are not available in the deluxe version, which is covered in leather, and has no book jacket.

WeatherWise for February 1999 published Gary Wade’s Hurricane Georges montage with an article on hurricanes.

Work of CIMSS’ Tropical Cyclones group is featured on the cover of the American Meteorological Society’s 1999 Hurricane Conference abstract volume. The cover features an AMSU (microwave) image with a vertical cross section of Hurricane Bonnie.

In an article on the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the National Weather Association’s Newsletter for November 1998 mentions CIMSS’ Tropical Cyclone products with those of the Naval Research Laboratory and the Air Force Weather Agency. The center expects that the innovative products will allow it to “lead the weather community of tropical cyclone forecasting into the next millennium.”

National Geographic magazine, March 1999, features a GOES image of Hurricane Linda to introduce an article on El Niņo. SSEC provided the data; Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for Atmospheres’ Visualization and Analysis Lab enhanced the multispectral image.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin uses products from the Tropical Cyclones page to analyze weather conditions in the northwestern Pacific where typhoons form and in the southern Indian Ocean where there is little data besides satellite.

For more information, follow the links below.

In Print

For More Information AOS 100

An article on the use of computer technology in UW’s curriculum features Steve Ackerman’s introductory weather and climate course. Appearing in a special Wisconsin State Journal section on the University of Wisconsin’s Sesquicentennial (January 31), the article by Phil Brinkman features several professors who use current computer technology in their classes, making them more vibrant and interactive. Steve, who is both a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and an SSEC scientist, uses three-dimensional graphics (Vis5D) and McIDAS to display and enhance understanding of complex weather patterns.
Verner E. Suomi

In the same UW sesquicentennial section, Verner E. Suomi, founding director of SSEC, is mentioned as the father of weather satellites. Journal science reporter Ron Seely named many visionary UW–Madison researchers whose work has enriched the people of the state and the world.

SSEC’s scientific visualization project was chronicled in the Fall 1998 issue of National Forum (The Phi Kappa Phi Journal). The theme of that issue was “Animation and Computer Graphics.” Bill Hibbard’s article, “Interactive Computer Graphics for Understanding Science” describes the development of Vis5D and VisAD as visualization tools. On the back cover a Vis5D image shows thunderstorms formed over Florida by colliding sea breezes.

D.K. Yeomans, Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences, thanked all the planners of the October meeting. In the AAS Newsletter (December 1998), he gave credit to Sanjay Limaye, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, and Larry Sromovksy, Chair of the Program Committee, for the meeting’s success. He noted that “extraordinary efforts were made … to involve the public in outreach activities.”

Neptune 1998

In that same AAS Newsletter, Larry Sromovsky’s Neptune research was mentioned as a meeting “hot topic.” Observations taken with Hubble Space Telescope and Infrared Telescope Facility recorded 900 mph winds at Neptune’s equator, “winds that make Earth-based hurricanes seem like little more than breezes.”

A browse of Madison’s Borders Book Shop’s magazine section netted current science magazines that published the Neptune images observed by Larry Sromovsky and processed by Pat Fry. They appeared most recently in Sky News (Jan./Feb. 1999), Sky and Telescope (Feb. 1999) and Astronomy Now (January 1999).


Model Products

The NASA-funded Midwest Center for Natural Resource Management was covered in Wisconsin Week and Wisconsin Week Wire for January 13. Led by George Diak, the consortium of university, government and corporate groups brings “space-age forecasts to farm, forest.”

At this year’s AMS Conference, SSEC work appeared in promotional pieces of other organizations. SSEC provided the cloud layer in a colorful poster for NASA’s Earth Observing System’s Data and Information System. Many other organizations—NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, SeaWIFS, and the European Space Agency—provided images for the complex graphical representation of the earth.

SSEC’s global montage appeared on postcards by ITT Defense and Electronics. The postcard also notes that some data used in the image comes from sensors designed and built by ITT.

Tony Wendricks’ drawings appear in Sky and Telescope magazine, January 1999. Tony made the drawings for Wilt Sanders (SSEC and Space Physics), who provided them for the article.

On the Air

Weather Guys Steve Ackerman (SSEC and AOS) and Jonathan Martin (AOS) appeared on WHA Radio on Larry Meiller’s call-in show on January 5. They fielded questions on weather and climate from listeners all over Wisconsin.

Also in January, Tom Achtor spoke about long-range weather forecasting with Angela Krenz of the Wisconsin Radio Network. The syndicate sends short news features to stations throughout the state.

From the Web

For More Information

Antarctic Weather

Jack Williams, USA Today’s meteorologist, visited Antarctica in January and put together a Web page on his travels. He links to AOS and SSEC’s Antarctic Meteorology Research Center and some of Rob Holmes’ Web pages. Rob is “on the ice” repairing automatic weather stations with Professor Chuck Stearns.


Automated Transfer Vehicle

Origin Nederland B.V. in Nieuwegein will use an image by Rick Kohrs and David Sanderson (formerly of SSEC) in rendezvous and docking simulations of the Automated Transfer Vehicle to the International Space Station. The software company will map the rectangular earth image onto a sphere and use it in a world based on the Virtual Reality Modeling Language. The image was created with data taken by GMS, GOES-7, METEOSAT-3, METEOSAT-4, NOAA-11, and NOAA-12 satellites on August 26, 1993.


For More Information

On New Year’s Eve, UW–Madison for the first time participated in Firstar Eve events in Madison. Firstar Eve celebrates the New Year with family-oriented activities and entertainment. On December 31, several UW science groups exhibited in Space Place, operated by the Space Astronomy Laboratory at 1605 S. Park. Among them was Sanjay Limaye, SSEC outreach coordinator, who brought two Lego Red Rovers with a habitat of Europa, designed and built by Kromrey MS students. Firstar door handlers reported 437 visitors to Space Place; Sanjay thought that about half made it to the back room, where he exhibited. At 10 p.m., when Firstar Eve activities were ending, rapt children needed to be ejected from the exhibit, a sure sign of its success.

Angie Manske poses with the Europa habitat and Red Rovers, operable remotely from the laptop computer.

Milwaukee Public Museum

Beginning in February 1999, “UW–Madison On the Road” will showcase UW–Madison researchers and teachers in a series of events across Wisconsin to celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial. The very first event will be held Tuesday, February 16, in Milwaukee, where a dozen UW–Madison projects will be shown at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Among them is CIMSS’ biomass burning monitoring program. Elaine Prins and Joleen Feltz will present results of the group’s research, using an engaging QuickTime movie and posters with GOES satellite images. These meteorologists will join biotechnologists, primatologists, and other scholars explaining their work to museum visitors. The GOES monitoring exhibit expands upon a display provided to La Habra Children’s Museum in California. Color prints and text were incorporated into an exhibit on the Amazon rainforest in their interactive learning center in the spring of 1998.
The JASON Project

Rosalyn Pertzborn and Sanjay Limaye presented SSEC research in weather satellites, remote sensing, and biomass burning to teachers from Madison elementary and middle schools on January 13 at UW Space Place. The JASON Project, founded by explorer Robert Ballard, supported the presentation.

WORT 89.9 FM

Rosalyn also appeared on Science News on WORT 89.9 FM on Thursday, January 21, to talk about science education. Science News covers a variety of scientific issues with a unique perspective every Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Bob Fox, SSEC’s executive director, has been appointed to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the Y2K problem. Bob serves on the Subcommittee on Public Media. The panel hopes to make use of Bob’s and SSEC’s satellite knowledge.

Coming up

For More Information

Wisconsin Public Radio

The Space Place

Rosalyn Pertzborn appears on WHA Radio, February 16, to talk about science education. Kathleen Dunn, afternoon talk show host, would like to know how it’s possible to get kids excited about science topics, like space exploration. Rose may focus on EarthKam and Red Rover actvities and include a Milwaukee teacher in the program which airs at 5 p.m., on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Ideas Network (in and near Madison on FM—90.7 from Delafield, 91.3 Highland, or 90.9—and on 960 AM).
Antarctic Meteorology Research Center

CBS News sent crews from morning and evening programs to Antarctica and interviewed Chuck Stearns. Chuck (SSEC and AOS) is a polar pioneer who started both the automatic weather station program and the AMRC. CBS will feature the pieces with Chuck in the week of February 14.
Real-time Data

The American Scientist magazine will use some images from SSEC’s Web site in its May/June issue. The images are composites from SSEC’s real-time data page and will be used to illustrate an article on good things that can be found on the Web.
Direct comments, questions, and information about other SSEC media appearances to SSEC's Public Information Officer. For information about past media appearances, visit the SSEC In the News page.