CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinars


The CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinar Series

In December 2011 CoCoRaHS kicked off a new and exciting monthly Webinar series called CoCoRaHS WxTalk (wx is shorthand for weather). CoCoRaHS WxTalk consists of a series of monthly one-hour interactive Webinars featuring engaging experts in the fields of atmospheric science, climatology and other pertinent disciplines. These easy to follow presentations are live and approximately sixty minutes long. The audience is given the chance to submit questions which the experts answer live on the air.

Topics have included: Snow, Satellites, Hurricanes, Lightning, Clouds, Tornadoes, Flash Floods, Fire Weather, Weather History, Radar and How to become a Meteorologist, just to name a few.  

There are many exciting Webinars on the agenda in the months ahead, so please tell your friends to join us.  All WxTalk Webinars are free and most are recorded for later viewing.

*Although headphones are a good way of listening to the Webinars, only a set of speakers is required to hear the Webinar.  The audience will be muted so there is no need for a microphone. All incoming correspondence during the Webinar should be in typed form.

Upcoming WxTalk Webinars:

Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 1PM EDT 

The history and uses of volunteer weather observations in the U.S.

Nolan Doesken
Colorado Climate Center, Colorado State Univ.,
Fort Collins, CO


Volunteer weather observations have played a large and important role in tracking, mapping and understanding our weather and climate for a long time -- much longer than most realize.  Organized weather observing networks data back many centuries in places like China and Korea.  Even here in the U.S., famous names like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were organizing weather observations already in the 1700s.  In this talk we'll look at the history of organized volunteer observing networks such as the Smithsonian Meteorological Network of the 1800s and the US Weather Bureau/National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Network that is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.  The internet has enabled programs like ours, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS), to grow and thrive.

We'll talk about what these networks have helped accomplish, and the remarkable importance of the data we (and many others before us) help collect.


Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 1PM EDT 

The North American Monsoon: It's What Makes Summer Weather Interesting in the Southwestern United States!
Christopher L. Castro
Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ


The North American monsoon is the period of rainfall and severe weather that occurs during the mid to late part of the summer in the Southwestern United States.  The basic cause of the North American monsoon, like its cousin in India, is the thermal contrast between the land and ocean. Though certainly not as dramatic as India, the North American monsoon is associated with regular shifts in circulations, winds, and precipitation. Monsoon thunderstorms are initiated by mountain-valley circulations and follow a regular diurnal cycle. The most dramatic severe weather days are characterized by organized, propagating convection in association with upper-level disturbances. Severe weather hazards during the monsoon unique to the Southwest include flash flooding, debris flows, micro-bursts, haboobs (or dust storms), lightning, and wildfire.

Predictability of the monsoon is challenging, even for daily weather forecasts.  High resolution numerical atmospheric models are required to explicitly resolve monsoon thunderstorms, and even the most sophisticated modeling tools will never be able to tell us with certainty if when and where storms will occur at an exact location.  When thinking on longer timescales, there are some potential predictable factors which may govern monsoon seasonal rainfall, especially during the onset period.  Monsoon precipitation is also likely changing in relation to anthropogenic climate change, with the changes generally conforming to a "wet gets wetter, dry gets drier" paradigm that is observed globally.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 11AM EST 

Lake Effect Snow
Thomas Niziol
The Weather Channel
Atlanta, GA

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 1PM EST 


"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2015"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK


"Greg will present an overview of hazardous weather episodes impacting life and property within the United States during 2015. Selected events will be presented in quasi-chronological order and described with photos, maps, and loops of satellite and radar data. While many of the events selected for this talk captured the attention of the media and public, some of these "meteorological memories" may have been forgotten as more substantial weather events occurred throughout the year. This review will highlight some of the "big stories", as well as smaller short-term events. The presentation will include descriptions of significant and deadly weather events of the past year including winter storms, tornadoes and floods. Along with the meteorological set-up for each event, an impact summary will also be provided.

Given the national scope and varied responsibilities of the Storm Prediction Center, high impact weather events, ranging from severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreaks to wildfires and winter storms, are analyzed and forecast regularly. These responsibilities provide the SPC forecaster with a unique opportunity to interpret data related to extreme weather across the nation. This diversified  experience, and the availability of large, high-resolution, archived datasets, provide for this type of informative presentation."

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 1PM EST 

Radiosondes, it’s what’s overhead that counts
Paul Ciesielski
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO


A radiosonde (sonde is French and German for probe) is a battery-powered telemetry instrument package carried into the atmosphere usually by a weather balloon that measures various atmospheric parameters and transmits them by radio to a ground receiver. Radiosondes are an essential source of meteorological data, and hundreds are launched all over the world daily.  In this talk I will discuss a brief history of radiosondes, different types of sondes, what sondes measure and how, where soundings are taken, and how the data collected by radiosondes are used.

Date TBA, January 2016 - 1PM EST 

The Weather Underground

Bob Henson, Jeff Masters
Weather Underground
Atlanta, GA

Date TBA, February 2016

Webinar subject to be announced

Date TBA, March 2016

Webinar subject to be announced

Thursday,  April 21, 2016

The Climate and Weather of the Midwestern United States
Mike Timlin
Midwest Regional Climate Center
Champaign, IL

Date TBA, May 2016

The Climate and Weather of the U.S. High Plains
Martha Shulski
High Plains Regional Climate Center
Lincoln, NE

Date TBA, June 2016

Webinar subject to be announced

Thursday,  July 14, 2016 - 1PM EDT 

The Climate and Weather of the Southeast United States
Chip Conrad
Southeastern Regional Climate Center
Chapel Hill, NC

Previous CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinars
(click on a link below to view a previous WxTalk Webinar)

SEASON ONE -- Webinars 2011 - 2012


Webinar #1 - December 2011
Snow, love it , hate it . . . it still falls on us all!
David Robinson, Rutgers Univ.,
Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Univ.
 Webinar #2 - January 2012
Remote sensing: How weather satellites sense the earth
Arunas Kuciauskas
Naval Research Laboratory
Monterrey, CA 

Webinar #3 -  February 2012
Who Uses Weather and Climate Data and How Do They Do It?
Steve Hilberg
Midwest Regional Climate Center (Retired)
Champaign, IL
  Webinar #4 - March 2012
Understanding and Identifying Clouds
Tom Schlatter
NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory
Boulder, CO
Webinar #5 - April 2012
Flash Floods: It's More Than a Bunch of Rain

Matt Kelsch
Boulder, CO 
  Webinar #6 - May 2012
Lightning and Its Impacts
Ronald L. Holle
Holle Meteorology & Photography
Oro Valley, AZ 
Webinar #7 - June 2012
Hurricane Analysis and Prediction at the National Hurricane Center

Chris Landsea
NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center
Miami, FL
  Webinar #8 - July 2012
Wind and Wildfire - A Dangerous Combination

Liz Page
Boulder, CO 
Webinar #9 - August 2012
Extreme Rainfall, How We Analyze It and How The Data is Used

Bill Kappel
Applied Weather Associates
Monument, CO
  Webinar #10 - September 2012
So You Want to Become a Meteorologist?

Dave Changnon
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 
Webinar #11 - October 2012
When Howling Wolves Greet the Northern Lights

Jan Curtis
Portland, OR
  Webinar #12 -  November 2012
Weather Optics - "There are more 'bows' in the sky than just rainbows"

Grant Goodge
Earth Resources Technology, Inc.
Laurel, MD 
Webinar #13 -  December 2012
Historic Winter Season Weather Events : What's the best of the worst.....

Paul Kocin
NOAA/NWS/Hydrologic Prediction Center
College Park, MD

SEASON TWO -- Webinars 2013

Webinar #14 - January 2013
Flavors of Climate variability: El Nino, La Nina and Recurring Jet Stream patterns
Gerry Bell
College Park, MD
Webinar #15 - February 2013
"Educated Echoes: An Introduction to Doppler and Dual-polarization Weather Radar "

Pat Kennedy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 

Webinar #16 - March 2013
"I before E" Except in Drought
Mark Svoboda
Lincoln, NE
  Webinar #17 - April 2013
Forecasting the Ferocious: The How, What, Where and Why of Tornadoes

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK
Webinar # 18 - May 2013
At the Cutting Edge: Harry Wexler and the Emergence of Atmospheric Science

Jim Fleming
Colby College
Waterville, ME
  Webinar #19 - June 2013
Monitoring the Earth's Climate

Deke Arndt
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
Asheville, NC
Webinar #20 - July 2013
Rainwater Harvesting - Catching and Using It
Billy Kniffen
American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)
Menard, TX
  Webinar #21 - August 2013
Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane prediction and the forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season

Phil Klotzbach
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Webinar #22 - September 2013
The Hundred Hunt for the Red Sprite

Walt Lyons
FMA Research, Inc.
Fort Collins, CO
  Webinar #23 - October 2013
Meteorological Instruments -- Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask!

Stephen Burt
Univ. of Reading
Reading, UK 
Webinar #24 - November 2013
Weather Modification: Does the seeding of clouds enhance precipitation? An old question revisited

Bart Geerts
Univ. of Wyoming
Laramie, WY
  SPECIAL WEBINAR - November 2013
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2013"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK
Webinar #25 - December 2013
Climate Change, Ecology, and Disease Emergence – A Public Health Perspective

Ben Beard
NCEZID Centers for Disease Control
Fort Collins, CO

SEASON THREE -- Webinars 2014

Webinar #26 - January 2014
The Hydrologic Cycle: How River Forecast Centers Measure the Parts

Greg Story
NOAA/NWS/West Gulf River Forecast Center
Fort Worth, TX
Webinar #27 - February 2014
Life as a climatologist – what the heck does a climatologist do?

Ryan Boyles
North Carolina Climate Center
Raleigh, NC

Webinar #28 - March 2014
Keeping an eye on the Blue Marble: How NASA studies Earth’s weather, climate and hydrology from space

Dalia Kirschbaum
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD
  Webinar #29 - April 2014
Air Quality: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives

Sonia Kreidenweis
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Webinar #30 - May 2014
Aviation Meteorology:  All you ever wanted to know . . . topics from what causes clear air turbulence to how airports’ traffic flow is impacted by weather.

Mike Bardou
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville
Romeoville, IL

Robb Kaczmarek
NOAA/NWS/Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center
Aurora, IL
  Webinar #31 - June 2014
Waterspouts: The Wet-Whirlwind Cousin to the Tornado

Joseph H. Golden
Golden Research & Consulting
Boulder, CO
Webinar #32 - July 2014
Space Weather:  What is it and why should you care?

Rodney Viereck
NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center
Boulder, CO
  Webinar #33 - August 2014
Weather CSI - Forensic Meteorology

Pam Knox, CCM
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 
Webinar #34 - September 2014
"A day in the life of a NWS Forecast Office"

John Gordon
National Weather Service Forecast Office
Louisville, KY
  Webinar #35 - October 2014
"Atmospheric Rivers"

Marty Ralph
Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes
UCSD/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, CA 
 Webinar #36 - November 2014
"NOHRSC - The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center"
Carrie Olheiser
NOAA/National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC)
Chanhassen, MN

Webinar #37 - December 2014

"Tsunami Science and Tsunami Warning Systems"
Stuart Weinstein
NOAA/Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Ewa Beach, HI  
SPECIAL WEBINAR - December 2014
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2014"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK


SEASON FOUR -- Webinars 2015

Webinar #38 - January 2015
"Avalanches in the US … In a Nutshell"
Simon Trautman
Forest Service National Avalanche Center
Bozeman, MT

Webinar #39 - February 2015
"Agricultural Meteorology:  Layer Upon Layer"
Brad Rippey
Mark Brusberg
Office of the Chief Economist
World Agricultural Outlook Board
Washington, DC

WxTalk Webinar on vacation from
March 2015 - August 2015
   Webinar #40 - September 2015  (coming soon)
The history and uses of volunteer weather observations in the United States"
Nolan Doesken Colorado Climate Center, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO

Webinar #41 - October 2015  (coming soon)
Introduction to the North American Monsoon"
Chris Castro
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

  Webinar #42 - November 2015  (coming soon)
"Lake Effect Snow”
Thomas Niziol
The Weather Channel, Atlanta, GA

SPECIAL WEBINAR - December 2015
(coming soon)
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2015"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK 
   Webinar #43 - December 2015  (coming soon)
"Radiosondes, it’s what’s overhead that counts”
Paul Ciesielski
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO