#NTWC16 Remembering Dr. Bill Gray

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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby Ounce » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:38 pm

srainhoutx wrote:One week from today, David and I will be departing IAH while Katdaddy and wxman57 will be departing HOU heading S for the almost one hour flight to S Padre Island for the 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference. Our Conference Schedule next Wednesday will start with a Meet and Greet Wednesday evening before the daily sessions begin Thursday Morning and continuing Friday. We will start posting pictures a week from today and keep everyone updated on the activities and newsworthy items as we look ahead to Tropical Season 2016!


Keep David out of trouble, Srain.
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby srainhoutx » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:56 am

Ounce wrote:
srainhoutx wrote:One week from today, David and I will be departing IAH while Katdaddy and wxman57 will be departing HOU heading S for the almost one hour flight to S Padre Island for the 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference. Our Conference Schedule next Wednesday will start with a Meet and Greet Wednesday evening before the daily sessions begin Thursday Morning and continuing Friday. We will start posting pictures a week from today and keep everyone updated on the activities and newsworthy items as we look ahead to Tropical Season 2016!


Keep David out of trouble, Srain.


Will do Ounce. Slept right through the thunderstorms early this morning. Not sure if David got a lot of sleep. Just saw a couple of the NHC Forecasters getting ready to fly out of S Florida heading this way on Facebook. Safe travels to everyone from across the United States flying to S Padre Island today.
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby srainhoutx » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:40 pm

Greetings from a cloudy and drizzly S Padre Island. David, Katdaddy, wxman57 and I had bumpy flights from both IAH and Hobby this morning due to thunderstorms SW of Houston down to Matagorda Bay. The showers down here have pushed offshore and all the Meteorologists have assured us that pleasant beach weather is ahead until possibly Saturday night. Lots of pictures coming this evening when we begin with a Welcoming Reception beginning at 7:00 PM.
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby unome » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:02 pm

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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby srainhoutx » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:46 am

The 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference offered some exciting new information from the implementation of new Tropical Weather Products that will go “live” in 2017 to exciting developments in computer modeling regarding both a Major Upgrade to the GFS (American Global Model) to the HWRF (Hurricane Model) which will be released in May and June of this year. As many have already learned, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University issued their first 2016 Seasonal Outlook for the North Atlantic suggesting a near average year with 12 Named Storms, 5 of which will become Hurricanes and 2 Major Hurricanes expected this Season. The reasoning is that the strong El Nino that we have experienced is transitioning to a Neutral ENSO Phase and the Climate Prediction Center ENSO Outlook issued Thursday morning suggest a 65% chance of La Nina conditions developing as we head into August, September and October.

What does this mean for those of us along the Texas Gulf Coast? Basically the thinking is that decreasing wind shear across the Western Caribbean Sea as well as warm sea surface temperatures may be conducive for Tropical Development while the Deep Tropics of Main Development Region across the Eastern and Central Atlantic may be a bit hostile as higher pressures and cooler waters, particularly off the West Coast of Africa may inhibit long tracking tropical cyclones as tropical waves march West across the Atlantic Basin. As we witnessed last year with Tropical Storm Bill in June, storms can begin to organize in the Western Caribbean Sea particularly near the Yucatan Peninsula and this area will need to be monitored closely for organizing tropical thunderstorm clusters that could develop into Tropical Cyclones.

As we learned last year, new Tropical Products such as Storm Surge Watches and Warnings condition to be fine-tuned and should be ready for Full Implementation in 2017. We will see this storm Surge Product Watch/Warning Product being utilized again this year if a Tropical Cyclone poses a threat to our Region as we did last year with TS Bill.
A New Product coming from the National Hurricane Center in coordination with the Coastal National Weather Service Offices will address possible Pre developed Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings where there is high confidence that those Tropical Disturbances that show signs of organization closer to the actual Coastline to provide the necessary lead time for the Public to take actions to prepare for a land falling Tropical System. We along the Gulf Coast have witnessed numerous times over the years where an area of Tropical Disturbed Weather quickly develops into a Tropical Cyclone rapidly allowing for little if any advance warning prior to being “Officially Classified” as a Tropical Depression/Storm or Hurricane. This new product will be tested this Season and implemented in 2017.

With the advancement of increased Super Computer size and speed as well as improved accuracy, these new Tropical Products to warn the Public in advance to provide local NWS Offices, Emergency Managers and Industry to be better prepared in advance. These products are part of a growing and much improved partnership with NOAA, The National Hurricane Center, The National Weather Service, Emergency Management Officials at the Federal, State and Local levels in partnership with the Media to provide as much factual and reliable information to the Public.
We on the KHOU Weather Forum in partnership with NOAA, The National Hurricane Center, The National Weather Service and our County and State Emergency Management Officials and other Media Partners continue to work together as a “Team” to provide the most accurate information possible to save lives and property. #OnlyTakesOne
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby Kludge » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:02 am

srainhoutx wrote:Greetings from a cloudy and drizzly S Padre Island. David, Katdaddy, woman57 and I


L.O.L. :lol: :lol: Freaudian slip? :D
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby srainhoutx » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:09 am

Kludge wrote:
srainhoutx wrote:Greetings from a cloudy and drizzly S Padre Island. David, Katdaddy, woman57 and I


L.O.L. :lol: :lol: Freaudian slip? :D


Fat fingers strikes again... :D
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby wxman57 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:50 am

What? Did I miss something? Steve, don't get too close to the railing tonight on that dinner cruise... :D
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Re: April 13-16, 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference

Postby srainhoutx » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:36 pm

Dr. Bill Gray – A Eulogy
Phil Klotzbach
How to describe 16 years spent with one of the greatest minds in hurricane research of the past 60 years? I’m still having trouble coming to grips with the fact that he’s gone. There are so many things about our relationship that I’m going to miss. The daily hour-long phone calls, the tag-team conference presentations, the forecast day donuts, the chats about topics ranging from hurricanes, to climate change, to politics, to baseball, to the Civil War.

I first was introduced to the Colorado State University seasonal hurricane forecasts and Dr. Gray when I did an undergraduate project on his research for my climatology class. I ended up doing my undergraduate Honors thesis on his research, and I was beyond excited when he called me to offer me a graduate research assistantship at CSU. One of my first interactions with him was the AMS Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology Conference in 2000 in Fort Lauderdale. After a brief introduction, his first question was “Who had the most RBIs in a single season, which team did he play for, and how many RBIs did he get in the season”? I knew that the answer was Hack Wilson for the 1930 Pittsburgh Pirates with 191 RBIs. At that point, Dr. Gray said he knew I would make a good project member.

While we both loved meteorology, we also had a mutual love for baseball. He grew up a Washington Senators fan while I grew up a Red Sox fan, so we were united by our mutual dislike of the New York Yankees.

I was always appreciative of Dr. Gray for giving me opportunities to present at hurricane conferences when I was still quite young. He allowed me to share presentations with him at the National Hurricane Conference and the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference when I had just finished my Masters degree. He also encouraged me to pursue my dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail and generously promised that he would keep a position open for me when I returned.

He has always been dismissive about the amazing accomplishments that he has produced in an extraordinarily distinguished research career that spanned 60 years. The humility that he has demonstrated throughout his career is something that we would all do well to emulate.

Dr. Gray had an incredible knowledge of the way that the climate works. His development of his genesis parameters – six key ingredients necessary for tropical cyclogenesis – was a groundbreaking piece of research when it was first published in the late 1960s. He also spent many years with his graduate students studying and publishing papers in a variety of fields from tropical cyclone structure to tropical radiation.

He is best known worldwide for his seasonal hurricane predictions. He instituted these predictions when he discovered that El Nino impacted Caribbean and tropical Atlantic vertical wind shear. This was the first time that any group had issued seasonal forecasts for the Atlantic. Now, nearly two-dozen groups have followed his lead issuing these predictions. He has consistently issued these forecasts for over 30 years – a track record unparalleled for university predictions. What distinguishes these forecasts from many others is the extensive write-up that is included. These forecasts typically reach 30-40 pages and discuss the primary factors why hurricane activity is being forecast at levels that it is.

He instilled his enthusiasm for weather/climate studies in his classes as well as through his interactions with graduate students. We spent many afternoons with maps of various climate patterns spread out across a table in his office. He also had the biggest affinity of anyone that I know for massive tables of data. I’ve never seen anyone get so excited for long tables of hurricane statistics or radiation budgets.

Dr. Gray’s memory was extraordinary. I’m amazed at how he remembered all of his project member’s birthdays and could recount baseball statistics or Civil War generals at a particular battle at the drop of a hat. He also could rattle off winners of various AMS awards or characters in movies that he hadn’t seen in 50 years.

Another love that Dr. Gray and I shared was for donuts. It was always tradition when the seasonal forecasts were released, the project would stuff envelopes with the forecast. Dr. Gray would always bring in several dozen donuts to fuel the endeavor. When I defended my Ph.D. in the late afternoon, he told me that I still needed to be sure to provide donuts.

Dr. Gray’s generosity with his resources was incredible. He contributed a considerable amount of his own resources to keep our project alive when research grants went dry a few years ago. He also let me stay at his house when I came back for in-person visits after relocating to California. I fondly remember sitting on the couch with him watching the Rockies game while eating Panda Express. My wife Kris and I also enjoyed several vacations at his cabin in the mountains west of Fort Collins.

Even at the end, Dr. Gray was focused on his research. He gave me very clear instructions on various projects I should be conducting over the next few years. He was still sketching clouds using his legal pad and #2 pencils and discussing the intricacies of cumulus convection when I came to see him a few days before his death. He told me several times throughout my time at CSU: “The only immortality that you have as a professor is through your graduate students”. His graduate students, their students, and now even their students, are leaders in meteorological research around the globe. The incredible legacy left by Dr. Gray will last for generations to come. He will be sorely missed.
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Re: #NTWC16 Remembering Dr. Bill Gray

Postby Katdaddy » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:57 pm

I was sadden yesterday to hear the passing of an icon in the tropical weather world. Dr. William Gray is a legend in the hurricane research world. Here are a few photos of Dr. Gray at the 2013 National Tropical Weather Conference in South Padre. Photos to post of the 2016 National Tropical Weather Conference but for now will dedicate this thread to Dr. Gray for another day.
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