Our research interests focus on the structure, variability, and dynamics of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system from small to large space and time scales. We do mathematical modeling of those physical processes, which govern the behavior of the atmosphere and the oceans using theoretical and computer simulation methods.
Most recent research areas include tropical cyclone-ocean interactions, ocean model initialization, and data assimilation; modeling of surface waves in hurricane conditions and their effects on air-sea interactions, numerical investigation of the atmospheric boundary layer in very high winds, the cumulative impact of tropical cyclones on the ocean climate, storm surges and coastal impacts.
Our research efforts have resulted in pioneering advances in the modeling of the tropical cyclone-ocean interactions that have led to significant improvements in the hurricane intensity forecast skills. Our research group has contributed to the development of the GFDL and HWRF hurricane models used by the U.S. National Hurricane Center and Joint Typhoon Warming Center for operational forecasting of tropical cyclones in all ocean basins.
Our current research projects focus on advancing the physics in tropical cyclone prediction models; surface wave impacts on the air-sea fluxes and upper ocean response to tropical cyclones; advancing capabilities of surface wind, storm surge, and hydrological models to better understand and predict the consequences of coastal and inland hazards associated with extreme hurricanes and to better prepare coastal communities for future risks.
We have been actively involved in the development of the educational, multi-disciplinary website Hurricanes: Science and Society, which has become a classroom tool for science educators nationwide. It plays an important role in the effort to educate both students and adults about the science and impacts of hurricanes and the importance of pre-hurricane planning and mitigation.