Articles

Building Next Generation Public Weather Observation Networks with STEM and Citizen Science Initiatives
Building Next Generation Public Weather Observation Networks with STEM and Citizen Science Initiatives

The development of high-resolution weather forecasts, and immediate issuance of weather warnings requires a high coverage of local and upper-air meteorological observation data to proceed. Conventional weather observation networks have fostered these applications and the advancement in urban meteorology forecast for more than a century. Now, with the emerging trend in citizen science programs, numerous private-owned weather stations using commercial weather instruments are springing up around the world. And this fast growing coverage of observation data has become available to the scientific community.

The Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) at the University at Albany
The Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) at the University at Albany

In 2019, the University at Albany launched the Virtual Operation Support Team (VOST), a student-led, faculty supervised initiative whereby undergraduate and graduate students were trained in crowdsourcing information from social media. As a part of their training, the interns learned about data scraping, misinformation and misinformation management, and the most effective ways to search for, summarize, and present trends in social media data. The VOST also served to support New York State's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) through the development of social media summaries and after-action reports. The program has had five cohorts of students that tracked sixteen incidents, complied over 70 social media reports, and engaged in one real-time activation. In this presentation, from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Dr. Amber Silver provides an overview of the University at Albany's VOST program, including the benefits to both students and the community at large.

The WeatherBlur Program
The WeatherBlur Program

The WeatherBlur Program is a student-led non-hierarchical citizen science platform where your students can wonder, investigate, work with data and then act to make their community a better place! The National Weather Service in Gray, Maine has provided support for the WeatherBlur program for over a decade, supporting impactful K-8 student led investigations across the US. In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Nikki Becker of the National Weather Service leads the audience through the details of the WeatherBlur program and the incredible impact it's having on teachers and students alike.

Heat Watch: A National Community-based Heat Mapping Campaign
Heat Watch: A National Community-based Heat Mapping Campaign

Over the past four summers, community scientists in over 50 US cities have set out to measure the distribution of ambient heat across urban environments as part of a national campaign ("Heat Watch") led by CAPA Strategies and NOAA's National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS). The highly engaging program has involved hundreds of community participants as data collectors with simple-to-use equipment, engaging training material, and meaningful input to study design and interpretation of the resulting ambient heat maps. Gaining an element of civic legitimacy through the participation of local communities, the generated datasets are used by municipal planners, health departments, academic researchers, and others to identify heat vulnerabilities and rapidly advance local heat resilience efforts. 

Citizen Science and Historical Weather: the DRAW Experience
Citizen Science and Historical Weather: the DRAW Experience

In this talk presented at the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Dr. Victoria Slonosky discusses how citizen scientists around the world have been transcribing historical weather observations. Her project, the McGill DRAW (Data Rescue: Archives and Weather) is working with citizen scientists to transcribe the McGill Observatory weather records, which represent one of the best sets of historical weather in Canada. The complete original records are being transcribed, including variables such as cloud cover and weather symbols. Nearly 1.5 million data points have been transcribed by hundreds of users, with a core group of superusers becoming experts in historical climate observations.

Using CoCoRahs Precipitation Analysis for Fluvial Geomorphology and Rural Environmental Management
Using CoCoRahs Precipitation Analysis for Fluvial Geomorphology and Rural Environmental Management

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Christopher Bridges discusses how the effectiveness of water resources management projects in rural communities can be limited by a lack of reliable long-term monitoring data. This is particularly important when considering agricultural drainage water, stormwater runoff controls and floodplain management in the erodible soils of the Coastal Plains. Additionally, measurement of extreme precipitation events is essential to understanding flooding risk in rural areas.

Assessment of the 2018 Four Corners Drought using CoCoRaHS Condition Monitoring Reports
Assessment of the 2018 Four Corners Drought using CoCoRaHS Condition Monitoring Reports

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Dr. Becky Bolinger, Assistant State Climatologist for Colorado, presents some interesting results from CoCoRaHS Condition Monitoring reports. CoCoRaHS observers can enter reports describing how dry or wet their location has been, called Condition Monitoring reports. Here, she has gathered all the reports made during and after the 2018 drought across CO, NM, AZ, and UT and evaluated them compared to drought data.

Our Community and Citizen Science Symposium Speakers
Our Community and Citizen Science Symposium Speakers

We are thrilled to have an amazing line up of speakers for the upcoming Weather Band Citizen and Community Science Symposium. To give you a small sneak preview of what's to come, here are short biographies for some of our speakers. They are arranged alphabetically, with more to come in the weeks ahead. A huge thank you to all of our speakers, and don't forget to register for the event! 

Visualizing Weather: The Visual Display of Quantitative Weather Data at a Garden Site
Visualizing Weather: The Visual Display of Quantitative Weather Data at a Garden Site

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Michael Ray describes how the Nurse Tree Design citizen science project seeks to mimic biological strategies for mitigating and adapting to temperature extremes in order to protect a raised garden through four seasons in the desert southwest. Extreme weather conditions at the garden site in Tucson Arizona can fluctuate 100 degrees (17 F to 117 F).

Want to Volunteer with CoCoRaHS?
Want to Volunteer with CoCoRaHS?

Interested in becoming a CoCoRaHS volunteer or just want to know more about what it's like to be a volunteer? Watch this fun video from James Kendall, who shared his experiences as part of the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium.

A Ten Year Climate History in New Mexico
A Ten Year Climate History in New Mexico

Using soil moisture and rain/snowfall data, Peter Callen has come up with a system of rating each month's overall relative wetness/dryness on a scale from -2 to +2. In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Peter details how the months are added up for each year, and how he creates charts shows the monthly and yearly changes for the past 10 years.

Climate Change in My Back Yard: Quantitative Evidence
Climate Change in My Back Yard: Quantitative Evidence

What does climate change mean in one's own backyard? By monitoring earlier ripening apples and creating an Excel analysis of KSEA temperature data Gerald Myers manages to catch a glimpse of the future for himself and his garden in this presentation from the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium. 

From Observation to Contribution: Connecting Citizen Observations to the Study of Mesoscale Weather
From Observation to Contribution: Connecting Citizen Observations to the Study of Mesoscale Weather

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Ted Best illustrates through case examples how the use of citizen weather observations can elucidate mesoscale convective events. A convective wind event, a long-lived thunderstorm with hail, and a mesoscale convective system with heavy rain show how individual observations can be collected to form a more detailed picture of an event for study. A combination of storm spotting, storm reports, CoCoRaHS observations, and radar images is presented for each case. These observations can call attention to events that might otherwise be missed in a busy and complex environment and can be helpful for improving future forecasts.

Collaborative Weather Collection by APS and Two Philadelphia Schools
Collaborative Weather Collection by APS and Two Philadelphia Schools

In a partnership now entering its second year, the American Philosophical Society and two Philadelphia area schools are continuing the weather data collection and observations that were started by some of our country's great 18th century thinkers. During this presentation from Dave Curry and Alexandra Rospond, you'll find out how students are connecting past with present as they learn to collect accurate local synoptic weather data.

NASA's GLOBE and CLOUD GAZE Programs
NASA's GLOBE and CLOUD GAZE Programs

In this interactive talk presented at the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Jessica Taylor and Dr. Jay Welsh from NASA walk the audience through the ins and outs of the award winning GLOBE and CLOUD GAZE programs, including how to use the app, what happens to your data, and how you can see what's being tracked around the world.

Storm Intercept Weather Network: The Truth on the Ground
Storm Intercept Weather Network: The Truth on the Ground

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Craig Lowe shows how Bahamian Storm and Hurricane Interceptors came to be and what they do to assist The Bahamas Department of Meteorology and The National Emergency Management Agency with valuable information on active Weather Threats.

Ranking Tornado Outbreaks
Ranking Tornado Outbreaks

I was listening to the WeatherBrains podcast (Episode 806) and there was a discussing what constitutes a tornado outbreak and the fact that there is not a rigorous definition for the term outbreak. And I am not sure there is a need to define the term for meteorological purposes. But I wondered if I could come up with my own Outbreak Index to allow comparison and ranking of events that might be termed a tornado outbreak.

Wind and Wildfire-Associated Smoke Event, September 2020
Wind and Wildfire-Associated Smoke Event, September 2020

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Candice Erdmann describes how, during a severe windstorm on Labor Day 2020, several wildfires began to tear through parts of the Oregon Cascades Range. This includes a discussion of the topography, air quality monitors used, and data verification processes.

How's the Weather...Indoors?
How's the Weather...Indoors?

This presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium offers a brief presentation of original quantitative data gathered from personal equipment in a residence to explore the relevance of dynamic atmospheric barometer readings with respect to the slightly different indoor oxygen levels. The audience may make their own  implications or interpretations of the data as it relates to the maintenance, prevention, and treatment of common respiratory health issues.

Rain or Snow? That is the Question
Rain or Snow? That is the Question

Did you know that snow can fall at temperatures above freezing? In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Jeff Uhlik describes the impact of community engagement through the Tahoe Rain or Snow project. The group is working to reduce inaccuracies in determining precipitation type by estimating the temperature of the rain-snow boundary, which is used in weather forecasts and hydrologic models. With help from Tahoe Rain or Snow weather spotters, they have been able to record evidence of snow consistently falling at above-freezing temperatures in the Sierra Nevada. This project is now expanding in 21/22 to include many parts of the Western US.

2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium
2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium

The 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium was a huge success thanks to its amazing speakers and enthusiastic attendees. Over 350 people registered for the event, which showcased nearly 30 speakers over two days of presentations. This was the first time that the AMS Weather Band has held this event, and it was a true testament to the high quality of citizen and community scientists, as well as to the programs that train and support these weather enthusiasts.

SKYWARN and BIDE at the National Weather Service
SKYWARN and BIDE at the National Weather Service

In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Davyon Hill of the National Weather Service discusses how he has built and sustained a successful SKYWARN program even while transitioning to a virtual environment because of the pandemic. He also presents on spearheading his office's Belonging Inclusion Diversity and Equity team; and the impact that spotters have for their local communities both for public safety, and as mentors for youth from underserved and under represented communities. 

Get Involved with CoCoRaHS
Get Involved with CoCoRaHS

Learn all about the history of CoCoRaHS, how it grew to be the dominant network of weather observers, the impact of all this data collection, and how you can get involved yourself! Noah Newman takes the audience through this important citizen science initiative in this presentation from the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium.

Wildfire Smoke and a Weather Ready Nation
Wildfire Smoke and a Weather Ready Nation

Tanja Fransen's presentation from the 2022 AMS Community and Citizen Science Symposium covers the increasing issues with wildfire smoke intrusions and public health and how a Weather Ready Nation needs to include partners in the public health arenas.  

Cloudy With a Chance of Pain: A Citizen Science Project to Understand How Weather Affects Pain
Cloudy With a Chance of Pain: A Citizen Science Project to Understand How Weather Affects Pain

The belief that weather influences people's health has been prevalent for millennia. Recent studies on the relationship between weather and pain for those who suffer from chronic pain remain indeterminate, with some studies finding strong effects and others finding no effects; most studies face limitations to their study design or dataset size. To address these limitations, a U.K.-wide smartphone study Cloudy with a Chance of Pain was conducted over 15 months with 10,584 citizen scientists who suffer from chronic pain, producing the largest dataset both in duration and number of participants.