Meeting Information

In the Midst of Chaos, Good Predictions: How we Exploit Chaos to Improve Weather Forecasts

January 19, 2011
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Date: January 19, 2011

Speaker: Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor, Dept. of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science, UMD, College Park, MD

Topic: In the Midst of Chaos, Good Predictions: How we Exploit Chaos to Improve Weather Forecasts

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD - off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: Proceeding from basic concepts of chaos, techniques will be described that actually take advantage of chaos to improve weather forecasts. One example is Breeding of Instabilities in which we estimate the fastest growing instabilities. This enables prediction of the next regime change, when and of what duration-- in the famous Lorenz (1963) ''unpredictable chaotic model'' that surprised Lorenz himself. These techniques could be applied to any dynamic chaotic system.

Biography: Following her Licencia en Meteorologia in 1965 from the University of Buenos Aires, Prof. Kalnay came to MIT, where she earned her Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1971 (Jule G. Charney, Advisor). After being Branch Head at NASA Goddard, and Director of the Environmental Modeling Center at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, she was appointed Lowry Chair Professor at the School of Meteorology, Univ. of Oklahoma. In 1999 she became Professor and Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD; and in 2002 she was named Distinguished University Professor.

Prof. Kalnay is a Fellow of the AAAS, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. She is a member of national academies in the USA, in Europe, and in Argentina. Her numerous honors and awards include: The World Meteorological Organization top world-wide award, the IMO Prize for 2009; The American Meteorological Society Jule G. Charney Award for 1995; Department of Commerce gold (1993, 1997) and silver (1990) medals; and many others. Her book on Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (Cambridge University Press, 2003) was reprinted many times and translated into Chinese. She is working on coupling Earth System models with Human models, as a follow-up of her talk “Population and Climate Change: A proposal” at the NAS when she received the WMO/IMO Prize.