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(Click on "loop12" for lapse-time motion.)

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7-Day Forecast for Gold Hill Area

Weather Observations from
( 2.5 miles south of Allenspark, CO)

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7.5-Day Detailed National Forecast

The forecasts below are from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, and are based upon model output from the Global Forecast System, GFS, produced by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NCEP.

Forecasts: 12, 18 & 24 hr
MSLP & wind

Forecasts: 36, 48 & 60 hr
MSLP & wind

Forecasts: 72, 96, 120, 144 & 168 hr
MSLP & wind

Forecasts: 84, 108, 132, 156 & 180 hr
MSLP & wind

American Geophysical Union
Fall Meeting , Dec. 3 - 7, 2012
Ice Nuclei Production in Volcanic Clouds
Poster paper A131-0299; Arthur A Few, Professor Emeritus, Rice Univ.
The PDF file below is the poster itself; there are three columns; read down left column then move to next column right. Click PDF file below to download the reduced poster.
 PDF file: 1.4 Mb

American Geophysical Union
Chapman Conference on Volcanism and the Atmosphere
Selfoss, Iceland, June 10 - June 16, 2012
Lightning and Ice in Volcano Clouds
Arthur A Few, Professor Emeritus, Rice University
This poster paper is similar to the poster paper presented at the 2010 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical but has been augmented with additional information on bubbles and froth in the magma explosion.
The PDF file is the poster itself; there are three columns; read down left column then move to next column right. Click PDF file below to download the reduced poster.

Lightning and Ice in Volcano Clouds
This paper was a seminar presentation to the Space Physics Group of the Physics and Astronomy Department of Rice University on March 30, 2012. There are three parts to this presentation, which can be accessed singularly or in sequence to get the complete presentation.

This paper received support from the Charles L Conly Endowment Fund for Research.

The "View First" resulted from a question posed by my Gold Hill neighbor, Ken Fernalld regarding lightning produced by Icelandic volcanoes. My response was first published on my web site Ask Arthur <>, but then moved to this location, 8/7/2010. This response provides information and photographs of lightning from volcanoes. Although not known widely, lightning very frequently accompanies volcanic eruptions. There are recorded observations going back at least to AD 79.

View First: PDF file, 3.6 Mb
The "View Second" was originally presented as a poster paper "Ice in Volcano Clouds" at the Fall AGU Meeting, 2010, AE33B-0282. I have deconstructed the poster contents to produce the slide show and augmented the slide show with additional information.
View Second: PDF file, 3.5Mb
 The "View Third" has two parts. The first is a short PDF file of a letter to Physics Today April 2012 concerning observations of water spectra in volcano plumes. The second file was originally an email with JPEG attachments. I reformatted the content so it could be presented as a PDF document. It shows the development of an island from an underwater volcano and floating volcanic rocks. It is a fascinating and fortunate set of photographs. I have not yet found the original author.
View Third: PDF file, 909 Kb; PDF file, 786 Kb

American Geophysical Union
Fall Meeting , Dec. 13 - 17, 2010
 Arthur A few, Convener and Session Chair for special sessions on "Volcano Lightning" at the Annual Fall Meeting of AGU in San Francisco
Ice in Volcanic Clouds - AE33B-0282
Arthur A Few, Professor Emeritus, Rice University
The PDF file below is the poster itself; there are three columns; read down left column then move to next column right. Click PDF file below to download the reduced poster.
PDF file: 2.1 Mb

Global Warming Lecture
(Work in progress; audio not yet included.)

The slide show was developed using Keynote on a Macintosh then exported to PDF and PPT formats. (20.4 MB)
Download as a PDF file. (7.3 MB)
Download as a PowerPoint file. (4.9 MB)

A tsunami is a special type of gravity wave. Gravity waves can occur in any fluid in which density decreases with height. In the atmosphere density decreases with altitude; thus we have atmospheric gravity waves in the stable layers of the atmosphere. Oceans have constant density; however, at the surface (ocean - air interface) the density decreases by approximately a factor of 1000. This provides an excellent condition for gravity waves. All ocean surface waves are gravity waves. The wavelength of an ocean surface wave is the length between adjacent wave peaks. When the water depth is greater than the wavelength the waves are ordinary or deep-water waves; when the water depth is smaller than the wave length then they are shallow-water waves, and you can get tsunamis. The average depth of the oceans is 3.8 km; thus the wavelength of an ocean tsunami is many km. Over the open ocean the height of a tsunami will be less than 1 m making them difficult to detect. An important property of tsunamis is that the deeper the water the faster they travel. As the tsunami approaches land the leading part of the wave slows down while the following part catches up forming a very large and destructive flooding wave.

The Moon - The Standstills
 The Moon's orbit is inclined ~5.1º to the ecliptic (the plane containing the Earth's orbit). The Earth's rotational axis has a angle of 23.5º to the ecliptic. Owing to gravitational influences the Moon's orbital tilt axis rotates with respect to the Earth's spin axis with a period of 18.6 years. When aligned parallel the two axes add to produce a Moon declination of 28.6º; this is the major standstill. 9.3 years later (half of 18.6 years) the Moon's orbital axis is anti-parallel to the Earth's spin axis, and the Moon's declination is 18.4º; this is the minor standstill.

Hailstones – Tracing Their Development

A short PDF paper on the development of baseball size hailstones.
Download the PDF paper.

AGU Spring 2006 Poster Paper
Conceptual Modeling as Pedagogy
Arthur Few1,2, Russanne Low2, Mary Marlino2
1 - Rice University
2 - Digital Library for Earth Science Education, DLESE
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, UCAR

The teaching of facts is often criticized because many facts tend to change with time, they can be forgotten, and because remembering facts does not train the mind to think or reason. In contrast, explicit instruction in the process of model building, whether physical, mathematical, computer or conceptual, requires thinking. It provides students with an extensible framework in which to integrate concepts and build new knowledge, setting the stage for course content mastery as well as lifetime science learning. In conceptual modeling students are taught to: (1) ask a question, (2) refine the question, (3) format the problem, (4) identify contributing components, (5) define a system with the central problem, the components, and the connections or relationships among all of the system’s parts by depicting the system with a diagram, (6) identify the information that the system will require to solve the problem, (7) step through the system toward a trial solution to the problem, (8) refine the components and connections as required (add, delete , or combine), (9) go back to 7 or reach your solution. In upper level classes the conceptual system can be migrated to a computer model using STELLA ( This will provide a rigorous test of the conceptual models students have developed.

This paper provides examples of how modeling is employed as a pedagogic tool at several levels in the curriculum. The examples start with simple conceptional models with simple drawings of the problems for the lower levels; for the more advanced levels the problem is treated in greater detail and a formal system diagram is introduced; at the upper levels, the problem is solved using a computer.

View the poster, a slide show of the poster, and access the computer models.

AGU Fall 2006 Oral Presentation
Modeling in the Classroom: An Evolving Learning Tool
Arthur Few1,2, Mary Marlino2, Rusanne Low2
1 - Rice University
2 - Digital Library for Earth Science Education, DLESE
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, UCAR

Among the early programs (early 1990s) focused on teaching Earth System Science were the Global Change Instruction Program (GCIP) funded by NSF through UCAR and the Earth System Science Education Program (ESSE) funded by NASA through USRA. These two programs introduced modeling as a learning tool from the beginning, and they provided workshops, demonstrations and lectures for their participating universities. These programs were aimed at university-level education.

Recently, classroom modeling is experiencing a revival of interest. Drs. John Snow and Arthur Few conducted two workshops on modeling at the ESSE21 meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, in August 2005. The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) at provides web access to STELLA models and tutorials, and UCAR’s Education and Outreach (EO) program holds workshops that include training in modeling.

Modeling in the Classroom:An Evolving Learning Tool.
The slide presentation is available as a PDF file.

Download the STELLA Model of the Global Hydrological Cycle with Global Warming here (.zip).

Other Earth system science models can be downloaded from the column to the right.

 AGU Spring 2007 Poster and Lecture
Internet Lectures on Geophysical Modeling
Arthur Few, Rice University

Advances in modeling software and presentation software now provide the instructor with the means to communicate over the Internet to a global student audience. Modeling in the broadest sense has always been a touchstone tool in geophysics ranging from a drawing of stratigraphy to a numerical climate model. At the undergraduate level even simple models provide insight in the behavior of geophysical systems. By coupling illustrated lectures with hands-on computer models that can be downloaded as a package from the Internet, the instructor can broadly support classroom instruction.

The software, (isee Player) for viewing and manipulating working STELLA models is a free download from isee systems Both Keynote (Macintosh) and PowerPoint (Windows) support adding an audio track to slides, so the instructor can discuss the content and interpretation of slide information. When the lecture on a geophysical process is coupled with a working model the student then gets a hands-on opportunity to explore the responses of the geophysical system as modeled. Examples of STELLA models and coupled lecture and model are available at

Internet Lectures on Geophysical Modeling, Poster (PDF)

The following files have an audio track for each slide.

Lecture in Keynote for Macintosh (zip)
Lecture in QuickTime (zip)
Lecture in PowerPoint (zip)

You will need STELLA software to modify these models. You may view them and run them with isee Player.

These files were compressed using Stuffit (.zip); they may be downloaded and opened with Stuffit Expander available free from

STELLA Tutorial

The STELLA file below is a short tutorial on STELLA system components, objects, and tools. I use this as an introductional lecture on STELLA Modeling.

STELLA Intro (.zip).

Energy Balance Models
for the Earth

These are the instructions for building a series of three energy balance models for the Earth.

Earth Energy Balance Model Part 1 (.zip). (This is essentially the Earth Effective Temperature used in the AGU Spring 2006 Poster.)

Earth Energy Balance Model Part 2 (.zip). (This is essentially the Greenhouse Earth used in the AGU Spring 2006 Poster.)

Earth Energy Balance Model Part 3 (.zip). (In this model we explore the Greenhouse Model when we double the atmospheric carbon dioxide.)

Early Faint Sun Model (zip). Starting with the Energy Balance Model Part 1 above we add the ice-albedo feedback, which alters the albedo as the temperature changes. This model demonstrates very interesting behavior. See also the AGU Spring 2007 paper to the left.