|Dept:||Geological and Atmospheric Sciences|
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.