The Meteorology program houses a 20-workstation teaching lab, running meteorological software such as the General Meteorological Package, Integrated Data Viewer, Grid Analysis and Display System, GR2Analyst, ArcGIS, and BUFKIT. During Summer 2015, we will be purchasing new workstations for this lab in order to run AWIPS 2, the same software used by the National Weather Service. An 80” SmartBoard and 18-screen electronic map wall are also housed in the teaching lab.
Two servers support the Meteorology program. One server gathers weather data from around the world and serves it to the lab computers. The other server is used to run the Weather Research and Forecasting computer model in real time for teaching and research purposes. Meteorology faculty and students also have access to supercomputing through a partnership with Michigan State University’s Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research.
The program also has a professional-grade Campbell surface weather station and an iMet weather balloon launching system. The surface station is housed on campus, and reports data to WeatherUnderground. The surface station features a webcam, a sonic anemometer, and a heated tipping bucket rain gauge. The radiosonde system features GPS-based wind observations. Output from balloon launches is shared with our local National Weather Service offices.
Dr. Baxter’s primary research interest lies in the improvement of weather forecasts, particularly with respect to heavy precipitation events. Dr. Baxter’s investigation of the amount of water contained in freshly fallen snow is used by National Weather Service offices across the country and has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune.
Dr. Baxter’s other research interests include the predictability of different types of weather phenomena, heavy banded snowfall, and forecast model evaluation. In order to keep abreast of forecasting challenges, Dr. Baxter frequently collaborates with National Weather Service forecasters on research projects and the creation of forecaster training.
Dr. Kluver’s research focus is on climatological trends and forcing mechanisms of snowfall, heavily using statistical models. In particular, she has developed a statistical model to predict the likelihood of above or below average snowfall in each upcoming winter season. She has also studied long-term trends in snowfall in the presence of a warming climate.
Dr. Kluver frequently shares her knowledge of climatology and climate change with students of all ages across Michigan.