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Visualizing Atmospheric Rivers

Editor's Note: The Commerce Data Service recently launched the Commerce Data Usability Project to feature tutorials and case studies in order to assist data scientists, programmers, researchers and other data users access and utilize a range of Commerce Department datasets. As part of this project, a number of external organizations are sharing tutorials illustrating their innovative use of Commerce data. In the guest blog below, Mapbox explains how to visualize NOAA precipitable water data. To learn more about this project, visit www.commerce.gov/datausability.

Atmospheric Rivers (AR) are narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport water across the world. Like a river suspended in the air, these phenomena carry moisture from the humid tropics to temperate areas, where it has the potential to fall as rain or snow. ARs can range in size, and we depend on them to resupply water reserves. However, when a large AR stalls over an area, it also can bring the risk of heavy, damaging rainfalls and flooding.

Announcing the Commerce Data Usability Project

The U.S. Department of Commerce collects, processes and disseminates data on a range of issues that impact our nation. Whether it's data on the economy, the environment, or technology, data is critical in fulfilling the Department's mission of creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity. It is this data that provides insight, drives innovation, and transforms our lives. The U.S. Department of Commerce has become known as "America's Data Agency" due to the tens of thousands of datasets including satellite imagery, material standards and demographic surveys.

CDAC Takes the Next Step

The Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) has just launched two new working groups to further explore topics it touched upon at its late October meeting in Boulder, CO. During that meeting, the CDAC explored NOAA’s efforts to unlock environmental data as well as department-wide efforts to improve our data privacy and cybersecurity operations.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Announces Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick as New Chief Economist

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick will serve as the Department of Commerce’s new Chief Economist. Dr. Hughes-Cromwick is on leave from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, following a distinguished, 18-year career with the Ford Motor Company.

Department of Commerce Honored for Data & Technology Innovation

FedScoop 50 AwardsFedScoop, a Washington DC-based government IT media company, recently honored three Department of Commerce innovators under its annual "FedScoop 50" awards.  Commerce's CIO, Steve Cooper, won the "GoldenGov Federal Executive of the Year".   The Department's new prioritization on Data was also a winner in two ways.  First, the newly hired Deputy Chief Data Officer, Tyrone Grandison, won "Most Inspiring Up & Comer".  Second, one of the data products the Department invented – a civic information integrator called "CitySDK" – won "Innovation of the Year".

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