February 14, 2023
By Emily Fischer
Members of the Alabama Water Institute recently attended the 103rd meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Denver, Colorado. This year’s theme was “Data: Driving Science. Informing Decisions. Enriching Humanity.” Data was chosen as the focus as it is the “engine of hypothesis-driven science and the fuel for inductive, empirical investigation.”
Dr. Steve Burian, James Halgren, and Dr. Ryan Johnson presented on behalf of AWI. Burian, AWI’s director of science and executive director of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology, highlighted the creation of CIROH, its strategic mission and what makes its consortium of 28 academic institutions, government organizations and private sector partners unique for leading research on hydrology and water prediction. Halgren, AWI’s assistant director of science, educated attendees on how the application of modern data access protocols can improve the efficiency of accessing results from the national water model. Johnson, artificial intelligence research scientist for AWI, relayed the benefits of a collaborative research-to-operations partnership between the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, the University of Utah and UA to build water system-climate resilience.
Dr. Kate Brauman, associate director for analysis and communications for the Global Water Security Center, detailed how the GWSC supports national security by transitioning research to operations and identifying associated research gaps. Brauman highlighted the GWSC’s new data portal, which is designed to make basic water and weather information accessible to non-scientific users and summarizes impact documents that outline pathways from water and weather to security impacts.
Dr. Hamid Moradkhani, director of The University of Alabama’s Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research, received the Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology award for his work with H3 data assimilation. The Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology is awarded in recognition of a scientist for outstanding research on topics of interest to both hydrologists and meteorologists. Moradkhani’s work focuses on improving data assimilation’s ability to turn H3 observations into predictive models to enhance forecast capabilities while considering all sources of uncertainty.