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

Scientists are using advanced computer models and observations to study tropical storms

September 9, 2016

BOULDER, Colo. — Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its managing organization, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), use advanced computer models and observations to study how tropical storms behave and their impacts on society.

Our hurricane experts are available to explain:

  • Why hurricanes and tropical storms form and what causes the behavior of these powerful storms;
  • How we can better predict the possible impacts of hurricanes, including flooding and subsequent spread of disease-bearing mosquitoes;
  • How climate change may be impacting hurricanes and what can we expect in the future; and
  • How well hurricane forecasts are communicated and how communication can be improved.


Hurricane formation, intensity, and track

  • 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.
  • Jeff Weber, UCAR meteorologist,, 303-497-8676. 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.



  • Matthew Kelsch, UCAR hydrometeorologist,, 303-497-8309. Kelsch has studied some of the biggest U.S. flood events connected to hurricanes and tropical storms, and he trains scientists from around the world on hydrology topics.
  • David Gochis, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-2809. An expert in hydrometeorology, Gochis studies the causes of floods and how to better predict them.

Communicating forecasts

  • Rebecca Morss, NCAR Scientist,, 303-497-8172. Morss studies how hurricane and flash flood risks and evacuation plans can be better communicated to the public.
  • Julie Demuth, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8112. Demuth studies how to better communicate forecasts and warnings to the public, and how to create more useful weather hazard products and tools for forecasters.


Economic and societal Impacts

  • Jeff Lazo, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-2857. Lazo leads NCAR's societal impacts program. He has researched the value of improving hurricane forecast accuracy and the potential need for a new National Weather Service storm surge warning product.

Climate change

  • Kevin Trenberth, NCAR senior scientist,, 303-497-1318. Trenberth has been in the forefront of scientists examining the potential influence of climate change on the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Greg Holland, NCAR senior scientist, Holland, an expert on possible links between global warming and tropical cyclone activity, is helping to lead a program at NCAR to develop tools that will enhance society's resilience to extreme weather.
  • James Done, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8209. Done recently helped develop a new index to quantify a hurricane's ability to cause destruction. The Cyclone Damage Potential (CDP) index rates storms on a scale of 1 to 10. It can also be used to examine how the potential for cyclones to cause damage may change in the future as the climate warms.



  • Mary Hayden, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8116. Hayden investigates the link between climate and disease, and she collaborates with universities and health officials to reduce societal risk and vulnerability to disease.
  • Andrew Monaghan, NCAR scientist,, 303-497-8424. Monaghan uses computer modeling to identify the potential risks of diseases such as the Zika virus and dengue fever due to climate and other factors.


*Media & nonprofit use of images: Except where otherwise indicated, media and nonprofit use permitted with credit as indicated above and compliance with UCAR's terms of use. Find more images in the NCAR|UCAR Multimedia & Image Gallery.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.