The Rise of Mountain Meteorology

Mountains are already hard to miss, often hard to avoid, but in meteorology their prominence is only growing right now, according to John Horel and David Whiteman, chairs of last week’s AMS Conference on Mountain Meteorolog. Whiteman pointed in particular to new opportunities for modelers and observationalists to work together, bringing in new people to the field:

We’ve found over time that the models have improved at a faster rate than the observational equipment has improved, so what we tend to find is that there are people who are able to make their models work on smaller length scales but they find that they don’t have the observations to really evaluate how well the models are working. That’s been good for our community because we’ve also now been able to have a number of programs that combine these high performance models with an observational program….For the first time we can start to look at the very small features.

For more of Whiteman and Horel’s discussion with The Front Page, check out these video interviews (with apologies to John for the brilliant Sierra light in Squaw Valley!) from the AMS YouTube Channel, Ametsoc:

And for a more “down in the trenches” view of mountain meteorology (come to think of it, a rather nice view from the resort patio, between sessions), here’s another interview, with Thomas Chubb, Neil Lareau, and Temple Lee, recently uploaded to Ametsoc on YouTube: