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November 3, 2017

ATS and CIRA awarded PRSE grant for tropical cyclone research

The Department of Atmospheric Science (ATS) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) have been awarded a grant for tropical cyclone research by the Office of the Vice President for Research. ATS and CIRA are a jointly designated Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE), a distinction that makes the pair eligible to compete for funding for research and training projects. ATS and CIRA have a rich history and global reputation of leading tropical cyclone research, working with partners locally and globally on basic and applied science, as well as transitioning research into operational weather forecasting.

The grant will enable ATS and CIRA to assemble a comprehensive 30-year observational dataset, including calibrated satellite and rainfall data, atmospheric reanalysis products, and tropical cyclone diagnostic information. The project, led by principal investigator Michael Bell, will help establish research partnerships across the Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, CSU and other institutions on structural, hydrological and health hazards resulting from tropical cyclones. New interdisciplinary research alliances will be created, expanding the scope of the research and improving forecast capability to reduce the impact of natural hazards on life and property.

“Tropical cyclones are a major hazard affecting millions of people around the globe. The recent tragedies in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico caused by hurricanes emphasize the importance of tropical cyclone research and forecasting to help reduce the impacts of these devastating storms on coastal populations,” wrote primary grant author Michael Bell in his description of the project.

The research team includes Paula Brown and Naufal Razin from ATS, and John Knaff and Kate Musgrave from CIRA.

Image at top: Microwave satellite image of Hurricane Irma