William Gallus


Dept:Geological And Atmospheric Sciences
Office:3025 Agronomy
716 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


  • B.S. (with Highest Honors) Pennsylvania State University, 1987
  • M.S. (NSF Graduate Fellow) Colorado State University, 1989
  • Ph.D. Colorado State University, 1993

My research interests primarily focus on improved prediction of small-scale atmospheric phenomena, especially thunderstorms and their rainfall. Improvements in computational technology in recent years have allowed for increasingly fine grid spacing to be used in numerical weather prediction models. Although the finer grid spacing allows the models to simulate increasingly realistic storm structure, forecasts of warm season thunderstorm system rainfall remain rather poor. My research with the WRF model suggests there is no way in the forseeable future that improvements can be made to guarantee good results consistently in a single deterministic forecast. Thus, more of my work uses ensemble forecast systems. In addition to studying ways to improve QPF, my research focuses on thunderstorm morphological evolution. I am also using ensembles to find ways to better predict winds for wind energy purposes. Finally, my interest in severe storms extends into other research projects including one directed toward improving student understanding of storm-scale dynamics through the use of virtual reality education tools, and another aiming to better understand near-ground tornado winds through damage surveys and use of a laboratory tornado simulator so that homes can be better designed to withstand tornado winds.

Research Projects
  • Gallus, W. A., Jr. and M. Segal, 2012-2016: Improved understanding of convective system evolution. NSF
  • Franz, K. and Gallus, W. A., Jr., 2017-2019: Applications of HRRR ensembles for ensemble hydrologic prediction using the WRF-hydro and SACSMA models as testbeds. NOAA
  • Cetin, K., Gallus, W. A., Jr., and Y. Zhou, 2017-2020: Maintaining the reliability and sustainability of modern electric grids in multi-hazard extreme heat and drought scenarios. NSF
  • Ogilvie, C., W. A. Gallus, Jr., and others, 2014-2019: Engaged to Excel (E2E). Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Mteor 107 Severe and Hazardous Weather (1 credit)
  • Mteor 407/507 Mesoscale Dynamic Meteorology (3 credits)
  • Mteor 411/511 Synoptic Meteorology (3 credits)
  • Mteor 417/517 Mesoscale Forecasting Laboratory (3 credits)

Recent Publications

Jahn, D. E., and W. A. Gallus, Jr., 2018: Impacts of modifications to a local planetary boundary-layer scheme on Great Plains low-level jet forecasts. Wea. Forecasting. 33, 1109-1120.

Saaman, A., and W. A. Gallus, Jr., 2018: A climatology of the winter low level jet over the Red Sea. International J. Climatol.,1-17, DOI: 10.1002/joc.5742.

Carlberg, B., W. A. Gallus, Jr., and K. Franz, 2018: A preliminary examination of WRF ensemble prediction of convective mode evolution. Wea. Forecasting. 33, 783-796.

Saaman, A., and W. A. Gallus, Jr., 2018: A classification of synoptic patterns that produced heavy precipitation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the period 2000-2014. Atmosfera, 31(1), 47-67.

Gallus, W. A., Jr., A. Parodi, and M. Maugeri, 2017: Possible impacts of a changing climate on intense Ligurian Sea rainfall events. International Journal of Climatology, DOI: 10.1002/joc.5372

Stelten, S. and W. A. Gallus, Jr., 2017: Pristine nocturnal convective initiation: A climatology and preliminary examination of predictability. Wea. Forecasting, 32, 1613-1635.

Kochasic, M., W. A. Gallus, Jr., and Christopher J. Schaffer, 2017: Further evaluation of probabilistic convective precipitation forecasts using the QPF-POP neighborhood relationship. Wea. Forecasting, 32, 1423-1440.

Jahn, D. E., Takle, E. S., & Gallus, W. A. 2017b. Improving Wind-Ramp Forecasts in the Stable Boundary Layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 1-24.

Parodi, A., L. Ferraris, W. A. Gallus, Jr., M. Maugeri, L. Molini, F. Siccardi, and G. Boni, 2017: Ensemble cloud-resolving modelling of a historic back-building mesoscale convective system over Liguria: The San Fruttuoso case of 1915. Climates of the Past, 13, 455-472, doi:10.5194/cp-13-455-2017.

Jahn, D., E. S. Takle, and W. A. Gallus, Jr., 2017a: Wind ramp forecast sensitivity to closure parameters in a boundary-layer parameterization scheme. Bound. Layer Met., 163, 1-16, doi:10.1007/s10546-017-0250-5.

Geerts, B., D. Parsons, C. Ziegler, T. Weckwerth, M. Biggerstaff, R. D. Clark, M. Coniglio, B. B. Demoz, R. Ferrare, W. A. Gallus, Jr., K. Haghi, J. M. Hanesiak, P. M. Klein,, K. Knupp, K. Kosiba, G. M. McFarquhar, J. A. Moore, A. R. Nehrir, M. D. Parker, J. O. Pinto, R. M. Rauber, R. S. Schumacher, D. D. Turner, Q. Wang, X. Wang, Z. Wang, and J. Wurman, 2017: The 2015 Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 767-786.