NOAA researchers share science of storms at San Francisco Exploratorium

A team from NSSL will be NOAA Scientists in Residence at the world-renowned San Francisco Exploratorium science museum from March 8-25, 2012.  During the event, “Rain in the Air:  The Science of Storms,” the team will offer Exploratorium staff and visitors a behind the scenes look at the tools, techniques and people behind the effort to better understand severe storms.

NSSL retired researcher Dave Rust will share his thunderstorm electricity expertise and his skill at creating weather measuring instruments. Dave pioneered the use of free-flying balloons and mobile laboratories to make observations, significantly advancing thunderstorm science.

Susan Cobb is a meteorologist and science writer for NSSL, and her experience includes international forecasting, and writing about weather science for all audiences. Susan will work with visitors to understand, experience and forecast weather in the San Francisco area and around the world.

Sean Waugh is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma and an instrumentation specialist working with the NSSL.  He helped design and build seven Mobile Mesonets, storm research cars outfitted with weather instruments, computers, and communications equipment. Sean will give personal tours of the Mobile Mesonet and focus on ways NSSL collects data to learn more about storms.

Cobb and Waugh will give presentations on current NSSL research at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, 2012 in the McBean Theater.

The partnership is the result of a five-year educational grant with NOAA to co-develop interactive exhibits, learning experiences and professional development workshops for the learning institution.

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory’s mission to improve our knowledge of severe
weather and to develop new tools to better forecast and warn of its hazards has endured since its establishment in 1964.

The Exploratorium first opened in 1969 and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year.