Why has U.S. Numerical Weather Prediction Fallen Behind and What Can Be Done About It?
This talk will describe the history of U.S. numerical weather prediction (NWP) and its loss of status as the world leader. The reasons for this decline will be examined, and the structural problems that have impeded progress will be reviewed. The talk will end with vision towards the future and how U.S. NWP could be reorganized to take advantage of the vast U.S. weather research community..
Dr. Mass went to Cornell University for his undergraduate education, where he majored in physics and worked with Astronomer Carl Sagan on a model of the Martian atmosphere. After Cornell he entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Washington (UW). Although his Ph.D. was on African wave disturbances, he caught the Northwest weather bug and began gathering information on the Puget Sound convergence zone and other local weather features. After UW, he joined the faculty of the Meteorology Department at the University of Maryland. He moved then back to UW as an assistant professor of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. During the next few decades, Dr. Mass and his students have systematically studied the weather of the western U.S., completing over seventy papers on West Coast phenomena. Numerical simulation has been a key tool for his group, which now runs the most extensive local high-resolution prediction system in the United States. He is the author of the book “The Weather of the Pacific Northwest” (2008) and broadcasts a weekly weather information segment on KNKX, a local public radio station. He also writes a weather blog (cliffmass.blogspot.com). He is a Fellow of AMS, has been an editor of a number of meteorological journals, and has served as a member of a number of National Academy committees. He is now working on a new book “The Secrets of Weather Prediction”.