WeatherBrains 209: International Radar Expert

WeatherBrains Episode 209 is now online (Jan. 25, 2010). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

WeatherBrains - January 25, 2010

Les Lemon, radar consultantJoining us this week is a real radar pioneer, Les Lemon. Les Lemon has had a 42-year carrier with the US Government, a number of private sector corporations, and the University of Oklahoma. He has been doing severe storms and weather radar research since 1968 when he joined, as a student, the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in their radar program.  Virtually all his research has been oriented toward understanding convective storms, the phenomena, its radar detection, and the operational application of this understanding.  Lemon developed a number of radar warning applications including “The Lemon Technique” and criteria, and among others, the mesocyclone signature, the Tornadic Vortex Signature, the Three-body Scatter Spike, the current supercell model, and the Deep Convergence Zone.  In 1997 he received from the American Meteorological Society the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Applied Meteorology “for pioneering work including design and development of the WSR-88D Doppler weather radar system”. 

He is well known globally for his operational weather radar research, weather radar design and development, and teaching Doppler radar operational applications to the phenomena of severe convective storms. Lemon began doing related radar and severe storms training in 1976 teaching radar and severe convective storms for the NWS, the private sector, and international weather services.  He now teaches internationally for several countries (China, Vietnam, Romania, etc.). Les recently updated FMH-11, the US Government handbook on Doppler Radar Meteorological Observations for the Radar Operations Center. He has published extensively.

In 2002 he conducted the first ever ground storm-damage survey in Romania and documented the first recorded tornado in Romanian history. Recently he has been working on Dual Polarization radar, its applications, and training as well as the severe storm threat to large venues.

Les was selected in 2001 to serve on a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committee concerning “Weather Radar Technology Beyond NEXRAD”. He has been a visiting professor for the China Meteorological Administration since 2000 teaching their advanced course in Doppler radar and severe convective storms. He also received a 1976 Department of Commerce/NOAA Special Achievement Award for the co-discovery of the Doppler weather radar Tornadic Vortex Signature (TVS) and a NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories’ Outstanding Authorship Award.

And our guest panelist is Betsy Kling, weekday evening meteorologist with WKYC, Channel 3, in Cleveland, OH. Northeast Ohio native Betsy Kling joined Channel 3 News as Meteorologist in March 2003. Betsy came to Channel 3 from First Coast News (WTLV/WJXX – TV), the NBC and ABC affiliates in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to easy winters in the “Sunshine State”, Betsy spent three years at WKJG-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Betsy Kling, WKYC MeteorologistBetsy went to Bowling Green State University, graduating in 1997 with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Meteorology. Betsy completed her remaining Meteorology courses through Mississippi State University. Living in the Midwest, Betsy grew up with an appreciation of weather, and a true fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes. She never really thought of weather as a career until college, when a “dorm-mate” tricked her into taking a Meteorology course as a lab science. Although it was the hardest class she has ever taken (after her “dorm-mate” promised her it was easy), it fascinated her like nothing else ever had.

Betsy is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. In 2004, Betsy was elected as a NWA Councilor and acts as the Public Relations Chairperson for the group. She also serves on the membership committee and organizes fundraisers to support NWA college scholarships for aspiring meteorologists. For her efforts, she was honored with the National Weather Association’s Member of the Year award for 2004.

Betsy is very active in the community and often speaks at schools and civic organization meetings. She gives her time to several charities in the area including the Hattie Larlham Organization (for which she received the 2004 Media Award for Service), the American Cancer Society, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Big Apple 1 inch of rain
  • Los Angeles getting rain – 12 inches last week
  • 40″ of snow at Flagstaff
  • 65″ of snow at North Rim of Grand Canyon
  • Tucson under a blizzard warning this past week
  • 45 percent of Lower 48 with snow cover
  • and more!
  • Our mail bag has been loaded lately and Kevin provides the rundown on it. And Kevin has a RANT ! ! !

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Radar is one of the most visible and used tools in the field of weather, so the professor tackles a description of how radar does its job.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of January 26th. The North Sea is the big topic for TWIWH.

    Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 209:

    L. R. Lemon Meteorological Services, Inc.

    Betsy Kling, WKYC TV

    Phased Array Radar

    CASA Radar Information

    Warning Decision Training Branch

    Picks of the Week:

    Dr. Tim Coleman – History of Tornado Warnings in US

    JB Elliott – No Pick – gets fog horn

    Betsy Kling – Earth System Research Laboratory FIM Model

    Bill Murray – National Severe Weather Workshop

    Brian Peters – Earth’s Ice Viewed from Space

    Kevin Selle – Chicago weather

    James Spann – NCAR Interactive Surface Obs

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like JB Elliott, Kevin Selle, Dr. Tim Coleman, Bill Murray, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Comments (2)

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    1. skydaver says:

      This episode is one of the best WB ever. Les Lemon was a joy to listen to. The guest panelist idea is working very well.

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