A simulated supercell forming in the composite environment of tornadic storms from VORTEX2. The cloud outline is white, the strongest updraft is red, and the surface radar reflectivity is shaded.
The Convective Storms Group
Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University


Our research group was established at NC State in 2005, and is under the direction of Dr. Matthew Parker.



   


Welcome! Our current research focuses on the dynamics of convective storms, including tornadic supercells and mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). Such storms and systems have great impact upon our society owing to the hazardous weather they produce, and owing to their copious precipitation (which is critical to the water budget in large parts of the Americas). Some meteorological topics of ongoing interest to our group include: impacts of low-level wind and thermodynamic profiles upon supercells and tornadogenesis; storms' sensitivities and interactions in the high-shear regime that spans the MCS-supercellular spectrum; low-level kinematics and dynamics of elevated convection; and, climatology and dynamics of convective storms in the eastern U.S., especially those that occur in environments with low instability.

To pursue these research goals, we utilize idealized numerical simulations (with the benefit of NCSU's supercomputer facilities), conventional observations (e.g. from the National Weather Service), and data from field projects such as the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 ("VORTEX2"), the Plains Elevated Convection at Night ("PECAN") project, and VORTEX-Southeast.

To see our currently funded grants and information for prospective graduate RAs, please visit our Project Summaries page. For a bit more on our recent and ongoing efforts, see "What's New" below.

NC State is a great place to study Mesoscale Meteorology, and North Carolina's Research Triangle is a great place to live! Interested in joining us? Contact Dr. Parker for more information.

The Convective Storms Group is...
Dr. Matthew D. Brown Parker faculty advisor
Brice Coffer graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate
Keith Sherburn graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate
Andy Wade graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate

Alumni Degree Last known whereabouts
Adam Baker B.S. (2007) National Weather Service, Peachtree City, GA
Ben Baranowski Ph.D. cand. (2006-8) Weather Decision Technologies
Jerilyn Billings M.S. (2007) National Weather Service, Hastings, NE
Billy Booth M.S. (2008) National Hurricane Center
Brett Borchardt M.S. cand. (2016-17) National Weather Service, Marquette, MI
Johannes Dahl post-doc (2010-13) faculty, Texas Tech Univ.
Casey Davenport M.S., Ph.D. (2013) faculty, U. North Carolina-Charlotte
Jason Davis M.S. (2013) National Weather Service, Birmingham, AL
Adam French M.S., Ph.D. (2011) faculty, SD School of Mines and Tech.
Mike Kiefer Ph.D. (2009) research scientist, Mich. St. U./US Forest Service
Jessica King M.S. (2016) Commodity Weather Group
Chris MacIntosh M.S. (2014) Panasonic Weather Solutions
Matt Morin M.S. (2011) High Performance Tech. Inc./Geophys. Fluid Dyn. Lab.


What's New:   (current and recent group members in bold)

Parker, M.D., 2017: What have we learned about high-shear, low-CAPE severe weather? A review. 9th European Conference on Severe Storms, 18-22 September 2017, Pula, Croatia. Keynote presentation.

Coffer, B. E., M. D. Parker, J. M. L. Dahl, L. J. Wicker, and A. J. Clark, in press: Volatility of tornadogenesis: An ensemble of simulated nontornadic and tornadic supercells in VORTEX2 environments. Mon. Wea. Rev., accepted in final form, September 2017.

Parker, M. D., in press: How much does "backing aloft" actually impact a supercell? Wea. Forecasting, accepted in final form September 2017.

Peters, J., E. R. Nielsen, M. D. Parker, S. H. Hitchcock, and R. S. Schumacher, 2017: The impact of low-level moisture errors on model forecasts of an MCS observed during PECAN. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 3599-3624.

Borchardt, B., and M. D. Parker, 2017: Initial insight into the 26 June 2015 Kansas City severe mesoscale convective system. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

Coffer, B. E., 2017: Characteristics of Low-Reflectivity Ribbons in Simulated Supercells. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

Coffer, B. E., and M. D. Parker, 2017: Volatility of tornadogenesis: An ensemble of nontornadic and tornadic supercells in VORTEX2 environments. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

Hitchcock, S. M., R. S. Schumacher, G. R. Herman, M. C. Coniglio, M. D. Parker, and C. L. Ziegler, 2017: Evolution of thermodynamic vertical profiles from pre- and post-convective environments of mesoscale convective systems observed during PECAN. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

Sherburn, K. D., and J. Blaes, 2017: Hurricane Matthew: An Ideal Setup for Catastrophic Flooding in Central North Carolina. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

Sherburn, K. D., and M. D. Parker, 2017: Sensitivities of simulated high-shear low-CAPE convection to low-level bulk wind shear and lapse rates. 17th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 24-27 July 2017, San Diego, CA.

MacIntosh, C. W., and M. D. Parker, 2017: The 6 May 2010 elevated supercell during VORTEX2. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 2635-2657.

May 2017: Keith Sherburn received the John S. Irwin Award for Scientific Excellence from the Central NC Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Congratulations!

April 2017: Keith Sherburn has been selected to attend the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium. Congratulations!

Geerts, B., and co-authors (M. Parker is 19th author of 27), 2017: The 2015 Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 767-786.

King, J. R., M. D. Parker, K. D. Sherburn, and G. M. Lackmann, 2017: Rapid evolution of cool season, low CAPE severe thunderstorm environments. Wea. Forecasting, 32, 763-779.

March 2017: Keith Sherburn was awarded Best Poster in the College of Sciences at the NCSU Graduate Research Symposium. Congratulations!

Parker, M.D., R. S. Schumacher, C. L. Ziegler, M. I. Biggerstaff, M. C. Coniglio, E. R. Mansell, and T. J. Schuur, 2017: Simulated nocturnal convective systems from the PECAN field experiment. 28th Conf. on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/24th Conf. on Numerical Weather Prediction, AMS, 23-26 January 2017, Seattle, WA.

Hitchcock, S. M., R. S. Schumacher, C. L. Ziegler, M. C. Coniglio, and M. D. Parker, 2017: Evolution of thermodynamic vertical profiles from pre- and post-convective environments of mesoscale convective systems observed during PECAN. 28th Conf. on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/24th Conf. on Numerical Weather Prediction, AMS, 23-26 January 2017, Seattle, WA.

Peters, J. M., E. R. Nielsen, M. D. Parker, S. M. Hitchcock, R. S. Schumacher, M. C. Coniglio, and C. L. Ziegler, 2017: The impact of low-level moisture errors on model forecasts of an MCS observed during PECAN. 28th Conf. on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/24th Conf. on Numerical Weather Prediction, AMS, 23-26 January 2017, Seattle, WA.

Coffer, B. E., and M. D. Parker, 2017: Simulated supercells in nontornadic and tornadic VORTEX2 environments. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 149-180.

Sherburn, K. D., M. D. Parker, J. R. King, and G. M. Lackman, 2016: Composite environments of severe and non-severe high-shear, low-CAPE convective events. Wea. Forecasting, 31, 1899-1927.

Coffer, B. E., and M. D. Parker, 2016: Simulated supercells in nontornadic and tornadic VORTEX2 environments. 28th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Coffer, B. E., 2016: Verification of RUC analyses using VORTEX2 soundings for nontornadic and tornadic supercell environments. 28th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Flournoy, M. D., M. C. Coniglio, K. H. Knopfmeier, D. M. Wheatley, C. L. Ziegler, R. S. Schumacher, M. D. Parker, E. R. Mansell, M. I. Biggerstaff, and T. J. Schuur, 2016: Analysis of a severe MCS and nocturnal tornadogenesis sampled by PECAN on 5-6 July 2015. 28th Conference on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Parker, M. D., 2016: Severe convective storms knowledge, practice and societal response: Some priorities for fundamental physical research. 28th Conference on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR. Invited talk.

Parker, M. D., 2016: How much does "backing aloft" actually impact a supercell? 28th Conference on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Parker, M. D., R. S. Schumacher, C. L. Ziegler, M. I. Biggerstaff, M. C. Coniglio, E. R. Mansell, and T. J. Schuur, 2016: 28th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Peters, J. M., R. S. Schumacher, S. M. Hitchcock, E. R. Nielsen, M. D. Parker, M. C. Coniglio, and C. L. Ziegler, 2016: The impact of low-level msoiture errors on model forecasts of an MCS observed during PECAN. 28th Conference on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Sherburn, K. D., and M. D. Parker, 2016: The origins of rotation within high-shear, low-CAPE mesovortices and mesocyclones. 28th Conference on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Sherburn, K. D., and M. D. Parker, 2016: Insights from composite environments of high-shear low-CAPE severe convection. 28th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Ziegler, C. L., M. I. Biggerstaff, M. C. Coniglio, E. R. Mansell, M. D. Parker, R. S. Schumacher, and T. J. Schuur, 2016: Kinematics and thermodynamics of the severe 5-6 July 2015 South Dakota MCS during PECAN. 28th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, AMS, 7-11 November 2016, Portland, OR.

Coffer, B. E., 2016: Verification of RUC analyses using VORTEX2 soundings for non-tornadic and tornadic supercell environments. 15th Annual Student Conference, AMS, 10 January 2016, New Orleans, LA.

Schumacher, R. S., M. C. Coniglio, S. M. Hitchcock, M. D. Parker, C. Ziegler, and M. Biggerstaff, 2016: An overview of mesoscale convective system observations during the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign. 20th Conference on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface, AMS, 11-14 January, New Orleans, LA.

Davenport, C. E., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Impact of environmental heterogeneity on the dynamics of a dissipating supercell thunderstorm. Mon. Wea. Rev., 143, 4244-4277.

Coffer, B. E., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Non-tornadic and tornadic VORTEX2 supercell simulations. 16th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 2-6 August 2015, Boston, MA. Runner up for best student presentation!

King, J. R., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Conditioning and evolution of high shear, low CAPE severe environments. 16th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 2-6 August 2015, Boston, MA.

Sherburn, K. D., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Examining the sensitivities of high-shear low-CAPE convection to low-level hodograph shape. 16th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, AMS, 2-6 August 2015, Boston, MA.

Parker, M. D., and J. M. L. Dahl, 2015: Production of near-surface vertical vorticity by idealized downdrafts. Mon. Wea. Rev., 143, 2795-2816.

Clark, A.J., M.C. Coniglio, B.E. Coffer, G. Thompson, M. Xue, and F. Kong, 2015: Sensitivity of 24 h Forecast Dryline Position and Structure to Boundary Layer Parameterizations in Convection-allowing WRF Model Simulations. Wea. Forecasting, 30, 613-638.

Coffer, B.E., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Impacts of increasing lower tropospheric vertical wind shear on supercells during the early evening transition. Mon. Wea. Rev., 143, 1945-1969.

Davenport, C. E., and M. D. Parker, 2015: Observations of the 9 June 2009 dissipating supercell from VORTEX2. Wea. Forecasting, 30, 368-388.

March 2015: Keith Sherburn was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award from NCSU. Congratulations!

Parker, M.D., 2015: Convective storm modeling. Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd edition, G. R. North, J. Pyle, and F. Zhang, Eds., Vol. 4, Academic Press Elsevier, 246-254.


Links:

The Convective Storms Group's data and software help page


last updated 13 September 2017