Bringing Research and Business Together for Colorado
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1375
970.491.8448 (phone)

Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) is a cooperative institute between NOAA and Colorado State University. CIRA conducts research concentrated in areas involving global and regional climate; local and mesoscale area (large storm systems) weather forecasting and evaluation; applied cloud physics; applications of satellite observations; air quality and visibility; societal and economic impacts; numerical modeling; and education, training, and outreach. The vision of CIRA is to improve research in the atmospheric sciences by developing skills beyond standard meteorology, by exploiting cutting-edge advances in engineering and computer science, and by facilitating expansive continued research for future application. CIRA incorporates 146 members, including scientists, staff, and students and receives $13 million in research and outreach funding. In addition to the relationship with NOAA, the National Park Service works with CIRA on air quality and visibility research, and NASA and the Department of Defense are also active sponsors. The Institute provides an interdisciplinary forum for research collaboration among university scientists, post-docs, staff, students, and several NOAA laboratories.

CIRA is developing software and data products specifically tailored for the ARTCC air traffic weather forecasting environment to help minimize adverse weather disruptions to air traffic operations over the U.S. Its TMU project is designed to address information needs relating to the weather-related hazards of convection, icing, turbulence, and ceiling/visibility and has recently been commercialized for use outside the government/research sector. Refer to the following website for additional information on the TMU project:

The FX-Collaborate (FXC) project is an interactive display system that allows forecasters and users at different locations to collaborate in real-time on a forecast for a particular weather or weather-dependent event. FXC is currently being implemented and/or evaluated for several outside projects and organizations. One significant application in particular, Geo-targeted Alerting System (GTAS), involves the development of a prototype public notification system to be used by NOAA and the DHS operations centers in the event of a biological, chemical, or radiological release in the Washington, DC area.