Dr. Christina Patricola, a new GEAT assistant professor starting in Fall 2020, recently won a Department of Energy Early Career Award for her research on tropical cyclones.
Tropical cyclones are low-pressure systems that form over tropical waters with thunderstorms near the center of closed, cyclonic winds. When those rotating winds reach 39 mph, the system becomes a named tropical storm. At 74 mph, it becomes a hurricane in the Atlantic or East Pacific oceans, a typhoon in the northern West Pacific.
Despite their destruction and enormous costs, Patricola said grand challenges remain in tropical cyclone studies. For example: There’s no consensus on whether global storm numbers will change in the future and there’s uncertainty about any regional changes in tropical cyclone intensity and rainfall.