As a China Dust Storm Hit the U.S., the plume
hanging over Colorado was about four miles thick,
evidence of a dust storm that began early this
month on the Mongolian-China border and then streamed
out across Korea and the Pacific Ocean to hit
the U.S. The storm left areas from Canada from
Arizona with a blanket of dust.
Denver and along the foothills of the Rockies,
mountains were obscured by haze. Russ Schnell,
director of observatory operations for NOAA's
and Diagnostics Laboratory in Boulder, indicated
how unusual it was for the dust cloud to hang
together as long as it did. He said that such
events carry urban pollution along with the dust.
"Nature," he said, "sent us a perfect storm to
reinforce the fact that we are all downwind of
someone else's pollution."
Click image for larger view --
../images reveal a thick, yellow swirl of dust streaming
across Korea and the Pacific Ocean toward the U.S.
Top Grades were given to NOAA's National
Weather Service this
week, a reflection of its "results-oriented management
system." NWS received all As in a government management
report card issued by Government Executive
magazine and George Washington University.
That's the highest grade ever given in the report
card. Success was also attributed to other measurements:
the lead time for tracking tornado warnings has
nearly doubled since 1993; there's been a two-fold
increase in flood warning lead times since 1993;
and there's been a 30% improvement in accurately
predicting hurricane landfalls since 1993.
To help focus national attention on hurricane
threats and safety, NWS has proposed designating
May 21 -25 as Hurricane Awareness Week.
With ever-increasing population along the coasts,
this designation has never been more important.
Over 50%of the U.S. population now lives and works
within 50 miles of our coasts.
prototype of a new hurricane education and safety
web site has also been introduced. Central to
saving lives and property, topics are: coastal
and marine hazards; wind hazards such as tornadoes;
inland flooding; the forecast process and uncertainty;
and mitigating disaster - the steps to take.
Solar Storms at Earth, an exploding sun caused
of tons of electrically charged particles to shower
earth this month. NOAA space weather forecasters
at the Space
Environment Center in Boulder reported that
the fast-moving storms traveled at about 1,200
miles per second. Strong geomagnetic storms can
affect satellites, electric power grids, flights,
navigation, and high frequency radio communications.
On April 10, a strong radio blackout occured on
the sunlit (Pacific) side of the Earth.
have been in a period known as solar maximum since
about 1999. Solar maximum is the period of time
during the sun's 11-year solar cycle when it is
most active. This period generally lasts for about
three years. For the latest information on solar
activity, click on http://www.sec.noaa.gov,
The First Class of Candidates in NOAA's
Undergraduate Scholarship Program of the Educational
Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions
will be introduced to NOAA at headquarters this
June. The program gives junior/senior students
at these institutions the chance to engage in
disciplines intrinsic to NOAA's work. Appointments
will be made to students attending Hispanic Serving
Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and
Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Ten candidates will be chosen for 10-week paid
internships. They will rotate among line and other
who commit to pursue degrees in NOAA-related sciences
will also be offered tuition help during the academic
year and, if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average,
they will have an opportunity to receive a second
paid 10-week internship the following summer.
At each NOAA site, mentors are being identified,
then trained. Jacqueline Rousseau, jacqueline.rousseau
@noaa.gov; Victoria Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
http://www.rdc.noaa.gov for NOAA-Wide Announcements.
Fostering a new generation of marine scientists,
policy makers, NOAA is a strong supporter of the
Sciences Bowl, now an annual regional
and national competition. The competition tests
high schoolers' grasp of ocean sciences - and
links the importance of a healthy sea to our daily
lives. NOAA staff, along with teachers and coaches,
volunteer time to make the Bowl a challenging
success. Muriel Cole, of the Chief Scientist's
Office, and Sea Grant Fellow, Giselle Firme, kept
score at this year's national finals. NOAA's
Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
is host of the Midwest Regional Competition,
which also sets up field trips for winning teams.
Mike Quigley helps spearhead this effort. Carole
Fletcher is regional coordinator.
year nearly 2,000 students and teachers from over
260 schools took part in 19 regional competitions.
At the finals in Miami, a Massachusetts team was
crowned champion. Erica Van Coverden, of NOAA
Research in Miami, is a key organizer of the
finals. After 13 other NOAA Research staff volunteered
at the Florida Regional Competition, most returned
to again volunteer at the finals. Mike Quigley,