UCAR group urges STORM program



A blue-ribbon panel of scientists has proposed a decade-long, $1 billion program to improve forecasting operations and research of regional and local hazardous weather. The panel, appointed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), believes that the program could reduce the $20-billion annual cost of damage from severe weather by $1 billion per year.

The primary aim of the program is to ‘enable weather services, public and private, to observe and predict stormscale weather phenomena— such as squall lines, thunderstorms, flash floods, local heavy snows, or tornadoes—with the accuracy and reliability to protect the public, serve the national economy, and meet defense requirements,’ as explained in the report, The National STORM (Stormscale Operational and Research Meteorology) Program: A Call to Action. Stormscale phenomena also include nonviolent weather: freezing rain, dense ground fog, low-lying clouds that disrupt ground or air traffic, persistent temperature inversions, and strong nocturnal cooling that may produce killing frost.