UW News

October 1, 2012

News Digest: Rainfall rivalry, talk by Japanese ambassador

Friendly competition pits Washington volunteer rainfall observers against Oregon

rain gauge

Rain gauge.

The competition between Washington and Oregon isn’t just on the football field. The state climate offices from each state are engaged in a friendly challenge to see who can sign up more volunteer rainfall observers.

Each state participates in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, which enlists volunteers to measure rainfall in their backyards daily.

“Their reports are useful for weather forecasters, climatologists, city utilities, hydrologists, and researchers, among others,” said Karin Bumbaco, assistant state climatologist at the Office of the Washington State Climatologist at the University of Washington.

The state climate offices in Washington and Oregon are competing to see who can sign up the most new volunteers from Oct. 1 through Oct. 27, the day that UW plays Oregon State University in college football. Observers sign up online and must purchase a standard rain gauge and either attend an in-person training session or read online material.

New volunteers in the winning state get bragging rights and three in Washington will be chosen randomly to receive a coffee mug from the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, said Bumbaco, who is a research scientist at the UW’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean. Contest results will be posted online every Friday.

Ichiro Fujisaki

Ichiro Fujisaki

Japanese ambassador to U.S. to speak at UW

Ichiro Fujisaki, Japanese ambassador to the United States, will give a presentation on “Challenges and Opportunities” Friday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Walker-Ames Room of Kane Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Fujisaki has been Japan’s ambassador to the U.S. since June 2008. He served as the political minister of the Japanese embassy in Washington, D.C., from 1995 to 1999, but his association with the U.S. goes back to the 1960s, when he was a junior high school student in Seattle.

As a diplomat, he has served in Jakarta, Indonesia; Paris and London. Prior to his current post, he served as ambassador to the United Nations and to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

The event is sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. For more information, send email to japan@uw.edu.