CASF – Who We Are

Cruces Atmospheric Sciences Forum (CASF)


Southern New Mexico is home to White Sands Missile Range, “birthplace of America’s Missile and Space Activity,” and New Mexico State University, New Mexico’s Land Grant College.

Many to most of the local members of Cruces Atmospheric Sciences Forum have been members of the “WSMR” family of organizations, support contractors, or part of NMSU’s Physical Sciences Laboratory. Our name in part derives from the old US Army Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory at WSMR, which itself derived from the WW2 US Army Signal Corps Laboratories at Ft Monmouth, Ft Huachuca and the old “White Sands Proving Ground.”

Since many of our members are “weather geeks,” “science geeks,” and professionally involved in atmospheric effects on Army, military, or agricultural systems, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports came out, this was a topic of office conversation.  Some of us casually and later openly were skeptical of the claims by Al Gore and the IPCC.

Our first get-together consisted of Dave Tofsted, Bob Endlich and Bob Murray, as an opportunity to ‘meet for breakfast on Saturday,’ to discuss our thoughts on this subject, but this was a follow-on to an earlier Sigma Xi evening meeting hosted by Don Veazey and Bob DeKinder.  Membership grew by word-of-mouth and we decided on the Third Saturday at 1130, and rather than a gabfest, we decided on a formal presentation along the lines of a college department colloquium with attendant graphics and specific references to data and its analysis, presented so that assertions could be made and challenged during and after the presentation.

Meetings began in 2009 at the now defunct Break an Egg Café on Solano in Las Cruces.  We moved the meeting location to Pepe’s Restaurant in 2012.

The web page began and efforts by Jon Kahler brought it to fruition dating from 2017.


No article here would be complete without data…

One of the germs of inception of the group was a discussion I had with my former boss, Allen Barr, right after Al Gore’s 1988 presentation to the US Senate during which he said that human-caused CO2-fueled Global Warming was upon us. At the time my job was to lead a small group of Meteorologists, Electronic Technicians, and support contractors in providing weather and toxic corridor support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility located in the middle of WSMR.  As Allen and I discussed Gore’s testimony, we reasoned that if greenhouse gas accumulations significantly warmed the atmosphere, then the control on the summer “monsoon season” in the US West, the movement of the subtropical ridge into northern New Mexico- Colorado border areas from its usual position to the south, would strengthen, onset earlier, and stay north of WSMR longer; we should see it somewhere in the data.

One of the most promising data sets which might confirm the “Warming-brings-an-earlier-monsoon Theory” is from the Monsoon Tracker Home Page of the NWS Tucson forecast office,

Here are some monsoon onset data, screen captured 20 Jan 2019:

The IPCC says human-induced greenhouse warming started in the latter part of the 20th Century, in the post-WW2 economic boom years, yet these data show no such indication.  In fact, the onset dates get later from the 1950s to the 1980s, in line with the widespread cooling of that time found in “tooth shaped” temperature records. Cooling, below, originally published by James Hansen, subsequently was “adjusted out” of the data. We have on this web site a copy of his paper, “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” originally published in the 28 August 1981 edition of SCIENCE, but not now widely available. Here are the data:

The cooling from the 1950s to the 1980s matches LATER onset of Tucson’s monsoon start date, based on original data taken by NWS at Tucson International Airport, not earlier, as postulated by Gore’s “CO2 means greenhouse warming” sermon.