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Weather Prediction Workshop on Thurs. Nov. 7

November 5, 2002 — About 115 forecasters, research meteorologists and other weather specialists are expected to attend the Ninth Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, to be held Thurs. Nov. 7 at the University of Utah.

News media representatives may attend the workshop, which will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Eccles Auditorium on the sixth floor of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

“The workshop is designed to bring together atmospheric science professionals who are working on problems about weather in the Intermountain West,” said meteorology professor John Horel, director of the University of Utah’s NOAA Cooperative Institute for Regional Prediction, or CIRP. (NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parent agency of the National Weather Service.)

Particularly newsworthy presentations include:
— From 8:35 to 8:55 a.m., a review of the 2002 fire weather season by Carl Gorski, of the National
Weather Service’s western region in Salt Lake City.
–From 8:55 to 9:15 a.m., a presentation on the current status of the drought in Utah by Randy Julander, of the Utah Snow Survey, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The meeting will open at 8:15 a.m. with presentation of the first Len Snellman Award to retired University of Utah meteorologist Thomas Potter for his outstanding service to atmospheric science, most recently as director of weather support for the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City. In that capacity, he supervised more than 50 federal, academic and private meteorologists.

During his 51-year career, Potter worked for the Air Weather Service, St. Louis University, NOAA, the World Meteorological Organization and, from 1989 to 1998, as director of the National Weather Service’s western region, headquartered in Salt Lake City. He then worked at the University of Utah as a research professor and director of CIRP.

The award is named for the late Len Snellman (1920-1999), who worked for 39 years for the Air Weather Service and the National Weather Service, including 17 years as the NWS western region’s chief forecaster.

Other highlights of Thursday’s workshop include:
— From 9:40 to 10:25 a.m., Louis Uccellini of the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction, will review where weather prediction is going in the next decade.
— From 10:40 to 10:55 a.m., Andy Horvitz of the NWS Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services will discuss efforts to improve the network that utilizes private citizens to make weather observations.
— From 10:55 to 11:50 a.m., a dozen scientific posters will be on display on topics ranging from avalanches in Salt Lake County’s Little Cottonwood Canyon and climate research at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to an evaluation of the performance of weather forecasting during the 2002 Olympic Games.
— From 12:30 to 12:50 p.m., Bill Myers of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., will discuss a road weather forecast system now undergoing testing in the upper Midwest. It eventually may be used nationwide.
— From 1:10 to 1:25 p.m., the University of Utah’s Mike Splitt and Horel will discuss their work collecting weather information for use in snowplow-deployment decisions by the Utah Department of Transportation and Idaho Transportation Department.
— From 2:05 to 3:20 p.m., scientists from the University of Utah, the National Severe Storms Laboratory and elsewhere will discuss results from the Intermountain Precipitation Experiment (IPEX) conducted in Utah in 2000, which was aimed at improving snow forecasts in Utah and throughout the West.
— From 3:20 to 4:45 p.m., a series of technical presentations dealing with winter storms.

A complete program for the meeting is available at:

Media representatives may park in the parking structure adjacent to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. If an attendant is present, mention you are attending the Workshop on Weather Prediction.