News Archive

School of Meteorology Professor Dr. Jason Furtado Featured in Associated Press Article

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School of Meteorology Professor Dr. Jason Furtado was featured in an article that was published by the Associated Press, called “Earth’s 16-month record heat streak ends but warming remains”. You can read the article at:

Furtado, who was trained as an expert witness by the National Science Foundation, spoke to the fact that global climate change is contributing to heat records. We encourage all of our students and prospective students to read the articles our faculty members contribute to in order to learn the best ways of communicating scientific principles

Jason Furtado is an Assistant Professor in the School of Meteorology. Jason has a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Mathematics from Lyndon State College, a M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His Ph.D. worked focused on quantifying uncertainties in Pacific decadal climate variability and working toward a new paradigm of understanding Pacific climate using multiple modes of oceanic and atmospheric variability.

Chilson and team represent OU at 10th Annual Aviation Festival

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The School of Meteorology was well represented at the 10th Annual Aviation Festival October 1! This event was held at the Max Westheimer Airport and drew about 3000 visitors. The School’s UAV Research team, led by Dr. Phillip Chilson, showcased the small UAS (unmanned aircraft system) platforms being used in weather research.

Shown in the pictures from left to right are Santiago Mazuera (Aerospace Engineering undergrad) along with School of Meteorology undergrads on the team: Austin Dixon, Dan Cornish, Erin Burns, and Tyler Wawrzyniak. 

Senator Inhofe (R-OK), stopped by to speak with the team and was duly impressed with their work.

Phillip Chilson is a professor in the School of Meteorology. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Clemson University. He also has a Master in Physics from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Physics from Clemson University.

OU SMART Radar Team to Cover Hurricane Matthew

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The OU SMART radar team consisting of Dr. Mike Biggerstaff, PhD student Addison Alford, and Research Associate Gordon Carrie are deploying a mobile C-band dual- polarimetric radar and four PIPS (Portable Integrated Precipitation Sensors) that measure winds, temperature, pressure and rain drop sizes to the eastern US to intercept Hurricane Matthew.

OU is part of the Digital Hurricane Consortium, a collection of university and federal scientists who coordinate data collection during landfalling hurricanes.  The deployment is also coordinated through the disaster impacts assessment plan (DIAP), a federal response to Superstorm Sandy, organized by NOAA, and coordinated with the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

Addison Alford, under Dr. Biggerstaff’s direction, received a NASA Fellowship to study hurricanes. They plan to focus on the evolution of hurricane rainbands that lead to inland flooding, the source of the majority of lost lives in the US from hurricanes.  It will be the eighth mobile radar hurricane intercept for Dr. Biggerstaff and Gordon Carrie.  This will be Addison’s second hurricane landfall after a very successful deployment to Hurricane Hermine earlier this year.

Contact:  Dr. Biggerstaff,

You can follow the team on Twitter here: @OU_SRs

For updates on Hurricane Matthew, you can visit the National Hurricane Center’s Website at or on Twitter at @NHC_Atlantic


School of Meteorology Ph.D Student Katie Wilson wins National Award

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The School of Meteorology would like to congratulate Katie (Bowden) Wilson on winning the National Weather Association’s Dr. Roderick A. Scofield Scholarship in Meteorology for 2016!

The award was made possible by the generous donation of the family of the late Dr. Roderick A. Scofield (1942-2006), a charter member of the NWA who rose to be elected its president for the year 2000. Dr. Scofield’s teaching and influence impacted many students and colleagues, and his superb efforts in providing teachers with continuing education and inspiring college students continues through this scholarship offering.This college scholarship opportunity is available annually to an aspiring meteorologist, and is a $1,000 benefit to be used for educational costs. Katie was awarded based on her academic achievement, recommendations by her mentors, and her personal statement. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Meteorology.

School of Meteorology Director Dave Parsons had this to say about the Award:
“Congratulations on another award. Well done and well deserved! Nice to see stellar recognition of research that is interdisciplinary in nature.”


School of Meteorology Professor Guifu Zhang Publishes Book

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Here’s a description from Dr. Zhang’s website (Found Here) about the book:

“Radar has been proven to be an indispensible tool for weather studies that have been well-documented. Radar reflectivity and Doppler measurements have demonstrated their value in weather observation, quantification and forecasting. Now, we have another set of measurements we can use to better study weather: weather radar polarimetry. After decades of research and development, weather radar polarimetry has now matured to the point that the national NEXRAD (WSR-88D) network has been upgraded with dual-polarization capability. Furthermore, other national weather radar networks have radars capable of producing multi-parameter polarimetric radar data (PRD). My understanding of weather radar polarimetry is as follows:

There is polarimetry in radar innovation,
which makes weather observations more accurate.
It brought excitement with its hydrometeor classification,
and improvement in quantitative precipitation estimation.
Multi-parameter measurements contain rich information,
which leads to deep understanding of cloud physics.
It helps model initialization and parameterization,
with great potential and future in weather prediction!

While the technology of radar polarimetry has matured, and PRD are available nationally and world-wide, radar polarimetry is still in its initial stages for operational usage. There is a lot of room for research and development, especially in using PRD for weather forecasts. It is important to know the principles of radar polarimetry and of PRD estimation and improvement, as well as the error characterization, information content, and error covariance of PRD. There is a growing need for a textbook that meteorology students, scholars and scientists can use to obtain this knowledge. Based on the weather radar polarimetry classes taught by the author at the University of Oklahoma, this book is written to provide readers with the fundamentals and tools to effectively and optimally use the available PRD.”

A link to purchase the book can be found here:

Watch a video feature about the book here:

Guifu Zhang is a Professor in the School of Meteorology. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in physics from Anhui University, located in Hefei, China. He has a Master’s of Science in radio physics from Wuhan University, located in Wuhan, China, and a Ph.D in electrical engineering from the University of Washington.

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