cloud seeding

As drought looms, could this team of scientists prove cloud seeding works?

June 27, 2017

THE RESEARCHERS HAD ALREADY DONE FOUR FLIGHTS, earlier in January, before they saw the first hints of what they were looking for. The crew of meteorologists, atmospheric scientists, and students had converged near Idaho’s Snake River Basin, a horseshoe-shaped depression between ranges of the Rocky Mountains that is 125 miles at its widest point.

Cora Randall

Arvada 8-year-old ponders existence of mermaids, receives detailed letter from real scientist

June 15, 2017

"Your question about mermaids in an excellent one," the letter started, which was printed on official CU letterhead. "I'm glad you decided to ask our department for the answer."

wind mill

Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts

June 7, 2017

ATOC graduate student Rochelle Worsnop is the lead author of a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters assessing hurricane impacts on wind turbines. Offshore wind turbines built according to current standards may not be able to withstand the powerful gusts of a Category 5 hurricane, creating potential risk for any such turbines built in hurricane-prone areas, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research shows. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, highlights the limitations of current turbine design and could provide guidance for manufacturers and engineers looking to build more hurricane-resilient turbines in the future.

wind farm

Monitoring Wind in Portugal’s Mountains Down to Microscales

May 31, 2017

Researchers are now gathered for the Perdigão field campaign, an effort to study wind flow physics at scales down to tens of meters. The effort should help engineers harness wind energy in Europe.

Cora Randall

BFA Awards Cora Randall Excellence in Leadership and Service Award

April 5, 2017

The Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) awarded ATOC Department Chair Cora E. Randall the Excellence in Leadership and Service Award. In recent years, Randall co-lead efforts to revise the College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum. In the words of her co-leader on that project, she "always took the time to fully inform herself about each and every issue, considered a variety of perspectives and engaged with all stakeholders, and was transparent in her decision-making and her communications with others."


Seeded and Natural Orographic Winter Precipitation - The Idaho Experiment (SNOWIE) Update

March 7, 2017

After spending two nights at 8,000 feet elevation on top of Granite Peak running a Doppler On Wheels (DOW) radar, it was time to head back down the mountain on a road that is plowed 4 days a week. This video shows the snowmobile ride down as we maneuvered over 10' snow drifts that filled in the road after only 2 days of snow.

josh aikins

Seeded and Natural Orographic Winter Precipitation - The Idaho Experiment (SNOWIE)

Feb. 22, 2017

ATOC Graduate Student Joshua Aikins is interviewed by Weather Underground regarding his work on the SNOWIE project.


World’s largest wind-mapping project spins up in Portugal

Feb. 15, 2017

Phase 1 of the world's largest wind-mapping project has begun spinning up in Portugal (link to Nature article). This project, several years in the planning, will culminate with a 45-day intensive measurement campaign in May and June with an intensive observing period. Throughout that IOP, ATOC faculty Julie Lundquist's research group, led by NOAA/CIRES researcher Ludovic Bariteau and several graduate and undergraduate students, will use CU's Tethered Lifting System to measure winds and turbulence within and above the valley; the Army Research Laboratory's identical system will measure winds and turbulence outside the valley for comparison. These detailed in situ measurements will help quantify how turbulence is produced and decays in complex flow situations so that numerical flow models can better represent reality. Other participating teams include University of California Berkeley, University of Oklahoma, the US Army Research Lab, DLR (German Aerospace Center), and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, as well as the teams mentioned in the Nature article from the University of Porto, the Danish Technical University, the University of Notre Dame, and Cornell University

atoc logo

ATOC Graduate Students Win Awards at AMS

Feb. 3, 2017

Congratulations to ATOC graduate students Jessica Tomaszewski and Joseph Lee who won speaker awards at the AMS Annual Meeting, in the 8th Conference on Weather, Climate, Water, and the New Energy Economy.

tundra buggy

Students video polar bears to teach about climate change

Jan. 19, 2017

As part of a team led by Jennifer Kay, assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at CU Boulder, students spent a week on the Arctic tundra making educational videos to help teach students about climate science.