Baron Leads Meteorological Education with Two Workshops at InterMET Asia in Singapore

A photo of the Baron & InterMET Asia Weather Radar WorkshopDuring the recent InterMET Asia Conference and Expo, Baron provided advanced educational opportunities for the conference attendees, with two half-day workshops focused on the implementation of weather radar and hydrological forecasting solutions. In addition to hosting these workshops, Baron scientists and executives spoke in three conference sessions, and participated in an invitation-only sponsored session by the World Bank, entitled “Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)”.

Held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in March 2016, this strongly focused two-day conference is the only event in the Asia-Pacific region that brings together the global weather and climate industry, with attendance from more than 25 countries.


A Beneficial Collaboration
Baron worked closely with the InterMET Asia management team to produce an education series that would complement their speaker forums. The additional two workshops were designed to provide non-technical executives and civil servants with insights and knowledge on new technology and innovations in the global weather marketplace.

“InterMET Asia is delighted to have partnered with Baron in providing the Hydrological Forecasting and Weather Radar workshops,” said Tony Stephenson, director, InterMET Asia. “These were an essential part of InterMET Asia, as there is a continued need for sessions to educate meteorological organizations in Asia to assist in the development of their programs.”


a photo of the Marina Bay Sands during 2016 InterMET Asia

The 2016 InterMET Asia was held at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.

The Insights of Experts
In his opening comments during the radar workshop, Stephenson said, “We are grateful to Robert Baron for creating this initiative and being such a staunch supporter of InterMET since its inception. We have heard a lot about the need for public/private partnerships this week, and we are delighted Baron has provided an excellent educational platform for our delegates.”

Over the course of two days, workshop attendees heard from a mix of weather radar thought leaders from academia and industry, who discussed some of the newest technologies and their role in the forecasting, management and mitigation of weather risks. “The Baron Weather Radar workshop brings together expertise in all facets of radar technologies and applications, providing a unique, self-contained opportunity for attendees to learn from and interact with experts in the field,” said Dr. Matthew Kumjian, associate professor at Penn State. Kumjian, who spoke about Principles and Applications of Dual-Polarization Radar, focused on building a strong understanding of the scientific and real-world benefits of operating a Dual-Polarization Doppler weather radar.

Other well-known industry experts included Russ Army from Beverly Microwave Division, Transmitter group, CPI, whose presentation focused on the difference between klystron and magnetron transmitters, and understanding their appropriate use. Research scientist David Warde from CIMMS at OU and NOAA/OAR/NSSL, one of the inventors of a new clutter suppression technique called CLEAN-AP, demonstrated the benefits of this new technology, recently adopted by the National Weather Service and a part of an exclusive agreement with Baron to be implemented into the next generation of Baron radar. The day concluded with Dr. Valery Melnikov, a senior research scientist also at CIMMS at OU who addressed the importance of radar calibration via a recorded presentation that reviewed the calibration methods used by the National Weather Service as part of the Dual-Polarization upgrade that concluded in 2014.

The hydrological workshop was led by Baron advanced modeling chief scientist John McHenry, and was an extensive four-hour session covering applications of hydrological modeling, as well as the importance of radar and sensor information assimilated into the models and decision support forecast tools. The workshop concluded with a real-time demonstration of a hydrological system running in Romania with data access courtesy of the Romanian Meteorological Service and a flood monitoring system operated by the Army Corps of Engineers in the United States. McHenry, who has presented all over the world on hydrological applications said, “this workshop attracted very high profile attendees, and their interest is testimony to the growing need for state-of-the-art hydrological forecast applications around the world.”

A photo of Mike Smalley presenting at the InterMET Asia and Baron Hydrology WorkshopBaron staff members Mike Smalley and John McHenry presented during InterMET Asia conference sessions. Smalley presented on Thursday morning during a session entitled “Extreme Weather Warning & Capacity Building”. He covered Baron’s unique alerting and dissemination capabilities, and discussed new technologies that can be utilized for public warning based on extreme weather events such as flash flooding. The presentation focused step by step on how an agency would issue either an automated or manual alert using a geo-specific method of alerting citizens in the path of impending weather. When asked about his presentation, Smalley said, “Across Asia, and much of the world, this type of technology can be of great importance during different types of weather events, with the provision of new alerting tools to citizens’ countries can keep them safe and increase response time.”


A photo of John McHenry, Chief Scientist at Baron, during marine meteorology panel discussion

Baron Chief Scientist, John McHenry, chaired a session on Marine Meteorology which included a panel discussion on subjects such as new lightning measurement technologies, thunderstorm risk management and wind measurements in a marine environment.

Investing in the Safety of Citizens
The conference wrapped up with a final invitation-only session sponsored by the World Bank GFDRR (Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery). The GFDRR special session focused on integrated technology systems for improving the performance and sustainability of NMHSs (National Meteorological/Hydrological Service) and building extreme weather early warning services. Mike Smalley and John McHenry of Baron participated in this day-long session. McHenry was a panelist in the first session New Approaches to Modernizing NMHSs.  McHenry noted that the Baron DESWAT (DEStructive WATers) program “was one of those few unique end-to-end projects that had been successful as measured by the new guidelines being set forth in the recently released DFDRR report.” He further added that “planned sustainability is a key element in ensuring the success of modernizing a countries meteorological operations.”

Baron also was one of 50 exhibitors at the conference, and showcased their newly released Baron Lynx product for easy scientific analysis and meteorological operation. They also demonstrated Baron Threat Net, a new global web weather monitoring platform.