CSU Tropical Meteorology Project has new co-author, Michael Bell

Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project welcomes a new face to its longtime seasonal hurricane forecasts: Michael Bell, associate professor in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science.

Michael Bell, CSU associate professor of atmospheric science

Bell has entered into a research partnership with Philip Klotzbach, the primary author of the seasonal forecasts and verifications, to become the reports’ co-author. Klotzbach is formally a research scientist in Bell’s group at CSU.

Different expertise

Klotzbach and Bell bring different areas of expertise to the prediction and analysis of hurricane phenomena in the Atlantic basin. “Most of the work I have done has been on the weather scale and mesoscale, focusing on intensity and structural changes,” said Bell, who joined the CSU faculty in summer 2016. “Phil’s expertise is on the seasonal and climate timescales; hopefully by working together, we will bridge some gaps and ultimately help advance the science of tropical cyclones.”

Bell holds an M.S. in atmospheric science from CSU and a Ph.D. from the Naval Postgraduate School. He studies the dynamics of tropical cyclones (another word for hurricanes) using Doppler radar and dropsondes, devices that collect high-density data as they fall from aircraft. He has flown into many tropical cyclones as part of his research. Bell’s first flight into a hurricane was Katrina in 2005 as part of a National Science Foundation-sponsored field project, and he flew into several Pacific typhoons during a U.S. Office of Naval Research-sponsored project in 2008. Much of Bell’s work has focused in the Pacific, home to some of the world’s strongest tropical cyclones. He was recently honored with a Presidential Early Career Award to support his research efforts.

Since CSU started issuing seasonal hurricane forecasts more than 30 years ago, the discipline of tropical meteorology has tended toward specialization, Klotzbach said. “By partnering together,…

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