Jefferson Farm and Garden will host an evening of scientific discussion centered on weather and climate in late August. The event will feature the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ atmospheric science program, as well as two live broadcasts by KOMU-TV Chief Meteorologist Kenton Gewecke, who has a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric sciences from MU.
The event, titled, Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden: An Eye on the Sky – A Discussion on Various Weather and Climate Topics, will run from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Jefferson Farm and Garden, in Columbia. Along with the two live broadcasts, the event will feature a weather balloon launch and a roundtable discussion with MU professors and Gewecke.
“We’re looking to add more roundtable-style discussions at Jefferson Farm and Garden, and an open conversation about weather and climate feels like a great way to begin,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. “We have an incredibly strong atmospheric science program, and we welcome the public to come out and ask any questions that they might have.”
The event is free and open to the public. Gewecke will do live KOMU-TV weather broadcasts at 5 and 6 p.m. There will be a weather balloon launch from the Missouri Mobile Meteorological Observatory, or MO³, at 5:30 p.m. The vehicle is an ambulance that the atmospheric science program converted into a weather vehicle.
The roundtable discussion will begin at 6:15 p.m.
“We’re really excited to have Kenton be a part of this event,” said Pat Market, interim director of the School of Natural Resources. “He’s well-respected throughout mid-Missouri for his reporting, and, as one of our former students, it shows how strong our atmospheric science program is.”
Market will be one of the featured speakers and will discuss the MO³, as well as the atmospheric science program at Mizzou, including the Meteorology Club. Tony Lupo and Neil Fox, both professors of atmospheric science at MU, will answer questions related to forecasting. Lupo will give a brief update on the long-range forecasting Mizzou does, as well as how they distinguish between weather and climate. Fox will talk about short-period forecasting and the radar at Jefferson Farm and Garden.
“There will be a variety of topics to discuss throughout the evening,” Market said. “Bring your weather and climate questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.”
Pat Guinan, an associate MU Extension professor of climatology, will discuss the Missouri Mesonet, a network that includes 37 weather stations across the state, including 29 that provide real-time weather updates. Guinan will also talk about how farmers and producers use the Missouri Mesonet in agriculture. Along with his live broadcasts, Gewecke will discuss how they do severe weather forecasting and the psychology of weather.
Eric Aldrich, an instructor in atmospheric science and former KOMU-TV meteorologist, will serve as the roundtable discussion moderator. Guests are encouraged to bring any questions they have related to weather and climate.
“This is a unique opportunity to hear from one of CAFNR’s strongest programs, and to talk to some of our most talented faculty,” Reinbott said. “It’s a great chance to learn more about something that affects us every day.”
The Butterfly House at Jefferson Farm and Garden, as well as other educational displays, will be open throughout the event.
Jefferson Farm and Garden, one of CAFNR’s Agricultural Research Centers, is located at 4800 E. New Haven Road in Columbia. For more information about the Science Night at Jefferson Farm and Garden, call Reinbott at 573-882-4450 or email him at ReinbottT@missouri.edu. For more information about Jefferson Farm and Garden, visit jefferson.missouri.edu.