Historic Impact of Harry R. (Bob) Glahn's Career on the National Weather Service (Keynote Presentation)

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 8:45 AM
211A West Building (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Louis W. Uccellini, Director, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

Dr. Harry R. (Bob) Glahn's remarkable career with NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) has included seminal contributions both in leadership and scientific development. His career work was dedicated to studying and understanding the science of meteorology to improve the delivery of forecast services critical to the NWS mission. He revolutionized weather forecasting through the introduction and continual development of statistical post-processing of operational numerical models, known as Model Output Statistics (MOS). MOS enables direct forecasting of weather elements derived from the numerical models, and paved the way for a deeper understanding of the means for maximizing numerical predictive skill. As a measure of Bob's perseverance, and in the face of fierce opposition from forecasters and modelers, it took nearly 30 years for MOS to be accepted as a critical element in the overall forecast process. Bob's efforts were a major reason for the success in applying statistical post-processing to extract the non-biased information from numerical models required to make forecasts of specific weather elements applicable to general, aviation, marine, winter, severe weather and other forecast applications. Beyond his scientific contributions, Bob has influenced the future of the NWS through his continued leadership in student programs within the NWS and through the National Weather Association, providing opportunities for countless students who now work throughout the NWS. He has also dedicated himself to the study of the history of Signal Corp, the Weather Bureau, and the National Weather Service. His efforts to document this part of American History are an important element in our understanding of how weather forecasts and services have evolved over the past 140 years. This talk will cover these highlights of Bob's career, emphasizing his contributions towards applying meteorological science to improve enhanced services that today save lives and protect property across this country and around the world.