An internationally-known weather researcher is gathering data to teach a weather seminar in China. Research Meteorologist Les Lemon came to visit Iowa, to find out how people in this area handle outbreaks of severe weather. He wants to better understand how we do it, since he thinks our system’s working well and he hopes to incorporate that into the seminar he gives the Chinese.

A past president of the National Weather Association, Lemon is gathering data from several parts of the country. Lemon says he finds some common factors in the way local emergency-management agencies handle things, and he thinks it’s due to the differences in the regions.

Lemon says getting people to talk is a vital part of a “chain of communication” needed in any emergency management situation. From the highest levels down to the grassroots and the individual citizens, he says there’s consistent encouragement for families to plan for emergencies and decide what they will do.

Lemon started going to China nearly ten years ago, teaching their forecasters how to interpret the signals from the new Doppler radar equipment. Today he teaches the American way of handling severe weather. Lemon teaches meteorologists from all over China, and tells them how the system works here, and lets them pattern their own designs after ours. He’ll leave on his next teaching trip later this spring. Lemon’s credited for coming up with the conceptual model of the storm “super-cell” and the Lemon Technique, named after him, is a method used by radar operators to determine the strength of thunderstorm cells.