24 April 2011
I am back home in Oklahoma this weekend for a climate change seminar at my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. I graduated from OU in 1981 and it has changed dramatically. OU is now the world’s premiere school for studying the atmospheric sciences and the seminar was in the new National Weather Center that houses the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, (They are responsible for issuing tornado watches nationwide) along with the National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL) and the National Weather Service. It’s an incredible place for a weather geek and a superb training ground for students of atmospheric physics.
Bud Ward, of the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, was kind enough to ask me to talk about climate change communication with an invited group of weathercasters. It’s a mix of meteorologists and climate scientists and I always learn a lot of interesting science. This event was no different.
During a pre-seminar dinner Friday night, tornadic storms developed just to the south of Norman, and we were treated to a beautiful display of mammatus clouds. The exact process that drives their formation is still not well understood. If you re thinking that the name is more than a coincidence to what they look like, you are right, it is! Mammatus is latin for “having breasts”.