2011 Meisinger Award Winner Working to Solve Hurricane Intensity Problem

NCAR researcher George Bryan received the 2011 Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award at the 91st AMS Annual Meeting in Seattle for innovative research into the explicit modeling, theory, and observations of convective-scale motions. With this award, the AMS honors promising young or early-career scientists who have demonstrated outstanding ability. “Early career” refers to scientists who are within 10 years of having earned their highest degree or are under 40 years of age when nominated.
The Front Page sought out Dr. Bryan to learn more about the specific problems he is working to solve with his colleagues at NCAR. “We’ve been doing numerical simulations of hurricanes in idealized environments trying to understand what regulates hurricane intensity,” he says. “One of the things we found was that small-scale turbulence is very important, small-scale being less than a kilometer scale—boundary layer eddies in the eyewall, and things like that. And so we’re hoping to take what we learned from that and apply it towards real-time forecasts and real-time numerical model simulations to better improve intensity.” In the interview, available below, Bryan says knowing this will give forecasters a better idea how strong a hurricane is likely to be when one does make landfall.