NWS director tours UAH’s Atmospheric Science Department


National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini, center, accompanies Dr. Lawrence Carey, chair of the Atmospheric Science Department, at left, and Dr. Kevin Knupp, atmospheric science professor, on a tour of UAH’s SWIRLL facility.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assistant administrator for Weather Services, gave a seminar and toured the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) on Monday.

While at UAH, Dr. Uccinelli toured the Severe Weather Institute – Radar and Lightning Laboratories facility and examined the university’s weather research, including the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE), the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series (GOES-R) and the International Space Station’s Lightning Imaging Sensor (ISS-LIS).

He also visited NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), with which UAH works closely in its weather research.

"We are very pleased to host Dr. Uccellini at SWIRLL to showcase our world-class research facility for the study of severe weather, radar and lightning. There is a lot of important research going on in the ESSC and Department of Atmospheric Science with strong ties to NOAA, the NWS and NASA MSFC, including UAH's leadership in tornado research and the NOAA/NASA GOES-R satellite program," said Dr. Lawrence Carey, Atmospheric Science chair and associate director of the ESSC.

"We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the recent NOAA funded VORTEX-SE tornado field experiment that was hosted out of SWIRLL and included NOAA, NWS, UAH and a number of other universities to improve tornado forecasting and to reduce casualties during outbreaks," Dr. Carey said. "Dr. Uccellini’s visit also highlights the strong collaborations between UAH, NASA MSFC and NOAA/NWS, including the GOES-R satellite program. UAH has actively collaborated with NASA MSFC and NOAA/NWS in the design of the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument and improved satellite algorithms to forecast thunderstorm initiation, development and severity."