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FEATURE
Meet Dr. Ed Zipser: Meteorologist who Specializes in Predicting and Measuring the Severity of Rainstorms

06.01.05

Photo of Dr. Ed ZipserEd Zipser is a scientist who specializes in significant weather events such as thunderstorms, squall lines, flash floods and hurricanes. He works with real data, often obtained through extensive field campaigns, to improve basic understanding of these phenomena. Many of these storms, although they may be intense, are too small for routinely available weather information, so the best way to get necessary data has often been by using equipment such as ground-based and aircraft-based radars, and satellites. To understand extreme rainfall in the tropics and rainfall patterns in the United States, Zipser uses the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite to track information.

Ever since the early planning stages in 1987, Zipser served on the Science Team for the NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite TRMM. After the satellite was launched in late 1997 he was team leader for the TRMM “ground validation” field campaigns in Texas, Florida, Brazil and Kwajalein. He has been involved with numerous other field projects including the joint NASA hurricane missions in TWPICE (Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment, Darwin, Australia in 2006; Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP), Costa Rica in 2005; SALLJEX (South American Low-Level Jet Exp; radar scientist on NOAA P-3 n 2003; CAMEX 3 and 4 in 1998 and 2001; Equatorial Mesoscale Experiment in northern Australia, 1987; Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE), 1992-1993; Taiwan Mesoscale Experiment, 1987; and many earlier programs in the tropical Atlantic and Pacific. Dr. Zipser served as one of the mission scientists for CAMEX-3 and 4 on NASA’s DC-8, which mainly focused on hurricane and tropical storm intensities.

He has received numerous awards based on meteorological and space research efforts. Zipser is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and has received its Editor’s Award and a Special Award for his previous field program research. Zipser is currently Chair of the Editorial board for the Bulletin of the AMS.

Some of his current research is aimed at using TRMM and other satellite data to determine the global distribution of severe storms around the world. While it is clear that convection over tropical oceans sometimes includes the intense “hot towers” and convective bursts that may precede the formation of tropical cyclones, the strongest convective storms in the tropics are found over land, and are more common over Africa than over the Amazon forests. The reasons for these differences are still under investigation.

He holds a Ph.D. and Masters Degree from Florida State University in Meteorology, and a Bachelors of Science from Princeton University in Aeronautical Engineering. His previous positions include: senior scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Director of NCAR’s Convective Storms Division, and Dept. Head, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University. He is currently Professor of Meteorology and former Chair of the Dept. of Meteorology at the University of Utah.

For a complete curriculum vitae on Edward Zipser, including:

Areas of Specialization
Courses Taught (Since 1999)
Selected Project and Field Program Involvement (1974-present)
Honors
Honorary and Professional Societies
Selected Committees
Selected Refereed Publications (1969 - present)
Theses and Dissertations Supervised
Funded Research Proposals (PI or co-PI; 1990 - present)
Please visit: http://www.met.utah.edu/zipser/zipser_2005.html

Related Web Sites:

CAMEX – 3

COARE

TOGA

TRMM


Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center

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