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NCAR|UCAR hurricane experts available to explain storm behavior, potential impacts

Scientists keep close watch on Hurricane Harvey

Aug 25, 2017 - by Staff

BOULDER, Colo. — As Hurricane Harvey takes aim at Texas, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its managing organization, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), are closely watching the storm and testing high-resolution computer models.

Hurricane experts are available to explain issues such as:

  • How we can better predict the possible impacts of hurricanes, including wind damage, flooding, and subsequent spread of disease-bearing mosquitoes;
  • How people respond to hurricane forecast and warning messages and how risk communication can be improved
  • Whether climate change is affecting hurricanes and what we can expect in the future;
  • The importance of improving weather models to safeguard life and property.

Antonio Busalacchi, UCAR president (please contact David Hosansky for interview requests)
An expert on ocean-atmosphere interactions, Busalacchi has testified before Congress on the importance of improving the nation's weather forecasting capabilities to better protect life and property, bolster the economy, and strengthen national security. He has firsthand experience with storms along the Gulf Coast as a part-time New Orleans resident, and he is a member of the Gulf Research Program Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

Christopher Davis, director, NCAR Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory,, 303-497-8990
Davis studies the weather systems that lead to hurricanes and other heavy rainfall events. His expertise includes hurricane prediction and how computer models can be improved to better forecast storms. His NCAR weather lab is running experimental computer simulations of Hurricane Harvey.

James Done, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8209
Done led development of the innovative Cyclone Damage Potential (CDP) index, which quantifies a hurricane's ability to cause destruction, using a scale of 1 to 10. It can also be used to examine the damage potential for cyclones in the future as the climate warms.

David Gochis, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-2809
An expert in hydrometeorology, Gochis studies the causes of floods and how to better predict them. He helped develop pioneering software that is at the core of the National Water Model. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Water Prediction uses this model to provide a continuous picture of all the waterways in the contiguous United States and alert officials to potentially dangerous floods.

Matthew Kelsch, UCAR hydrometeorologist,, 303-497-8309
Kelsch has studied some of the biggest U.S. flood events connected to hurricanes and tropical storms. He trains scientists and forecasters from around the world on emerging hydrology and weather topics.

Rebecca Morse, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8172
Morss studies the predictability of hurricane-related hazards, including storm surge and inland flooding, and hurricane and flood risk communication and evauation decision making.

Kevin Trenberth, NCAR senior scientist,, 303-497-1318
Trenberth is an expert on the global climate system. He has been in the forefront of scientists examining the potential influence of climate change on the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes and the increased widespread flooding that they cause.

Jeff Weber, UCAR meteorologist,, 303-497-8676
As an expert on hurricanes and severe weather in general, Weber closely monitors the behavior of individual storms and the larger atmospheric and oceanic conditions that influence them.

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