Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Munich visit

Frontal and tropical cyclone expert Prof. Roger Smith at the University of Munich invited me to Munich for several days. I went on May 21-24. I got to meet Roger's students and postdocs, as well as engage in cafe-style discussions about important issues remaining in frontal research. I gave my seminar on the mammatus work I have done with Kathy Kanak and Jerry Straka. At the end of the seminar, people started knocking on the tables in approval. Apparently in Germany, that is the proper acknowledgement, rather than applause. Interesting!

I spent one day at DLR, a research laboratory outside of Munich. My host there was Hans Volkert, who many may remember for his presentation at the 1994 Bergen Symposium on the roots of the Bergen school conceptual model in the German literature. Hans showed me his copy of Vilhelm Bjerknes' 1913 inauguration presentation for his professorship at Leipzig where he laid out his view of how weather prediction could occur by integrating the governing equations for the atmosphere. What a treat that was! I also got to experience Bavarian outside dining on a lakeshore restaurant in the countryside, which was an excellent choice by Hans.

Also at DLR, I got to reconnect with colleagues George Craig, Nikolai Dotzek, and Johannes Dahl. Nikolai and his family hosted me at their rooftop apartment for dinner that night. I am here to say that Nikolai's barbeque grill skills are highly competitive with Al Shapiro at the University of Oklahoma. With convective storms on the horizon and a wonderful sunset, it made for the culmination of a perfect visit to a city and a country that I have never visited before.

I want to thank all my hosts for such a wonderful time. Also, I appreciate everyone who shared with me their research and attended my seminars, showing me incredible hospitality.


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