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Home » NOAA / GSL Staff Directory » Profile

Curtis Alexander

GSL Staff Profiles
Chief - Assimilation and Verification Innovation Division
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328

Professional Profile

Curtis Alexander, Supervisory Meteorologist, Division Chief

Dr. Curtis Alexander (NOAA/OAR/GSL) received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Pennsylvania State University (1999) and the University of Oklahoma (2002, 2010) respectively. His graduate work focused on studying severe convective storms, including tornadoes, using high-resolution mobile Doppler weather radar observations. He joined the Global Systems Division (now Laboratory — GSL) of NOAA/ESRL in 2009, first as a University of Colorado CIRES employee before becoming a NOAA federal employee in 2016. He focused his research in NOAA on the development of high-resolution model systems to support convection-allowing model forecasts including data assimilation of storm-to-mesoscale information and became a division chief for the now Assimilation and Verification Innovation Division of GSL in 2017. He has helped transition multiple versions of the Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) from research to operations at NWS/NCEP between 2014 and 2020 and is also a co-lead on the Unified Forecast System Short-Range Weather/Convection Allowing Model Application Team.
Research Interests
  • Mesoscale and storm-scale dynamics and forecasting
  • Radar data assimilation
  • Ensemble probability forecasting
  • Radar-based climatology of tornado structure and dynamics
  • Hurricane and tornado damage surveys including intensity estimation
  • Single and Dual-Doppler velocity retrieval techniques
  • Radar algorithm development for tornado and mesocyclone detection

  • Ph.D. Meteorology University of Oklahoma (OU) 2010
  • MS Meteorology University of Oklahoma (OU) 2002 
  • BS Meteorology Pennsylvania State University (PSU) 1999

  • 2020-present: Division Chief - Assimilation and Verification Innovation Division/Global Systems Laboratory 
  • 2017-2019: Acting Branch Chief - Assimilation Development Branch/Global Systems Division 
  • 2009-2016: Research Associate - Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences/Global Systems Division
  • 2007-2009: Co-Principal Investigator - National Science Foundation/Center for Severe Weather Research
  • 2007-2008: Visiting Student - National Center for Atmospheric Research/Mesoscale & Microscale Meteor. Division
  • 2005-2007: Co-Principal Investigator - National Science Foundation/University of Oklahoma 
  • 2000-2007: Graduate Research Assistant - University of Oklahoma 
  • 1999-2000: Graduate Fellowship American Meteorological Society/University of Oklahoma 
  • 1997-1999: Student Trainee - National Weather Service/Techniques Development Laboratory
  • 1997-1999: Undergraduate Teaching Assistant  - Pennsylvania State University 

Linked-In profile

Gallo, Burkely T., J. K. Wolff, A. J. Clark, I. Jirak, L. R. Blank, B. Roberts, Y. Wang, C. Zhang, M. Xue, T. Supinie, L. Harris, L. Zhou, and C. Alexander, 2021: Exploring Convection-Allowing Model Evaluation Strategies for Severe Local Storms Using the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere (FV3) Model Core. Weather and Forecasting, 36, 3-19,

Demuth, Julie L., R. E. Morss, I. Jankov, T. I. Alcott, C. R. Alexander, D. Nietfeld, T. L. Jensen, D. R. Novak, and S. G. Benjamin, 2020: Recommendations for Developing Useful and Usable Convection-Allowing Model Ensemble Information for NWS Forecasters. Weather and Forecasting, 35, 1381-1406,

Fujisaki-Manome, Ayumi, G. E. Mann, E. J. Anderson, P. Y. Chu, L. E. Fitzpatrick, S. G. Benjamin, E. P. James, T. G. Smirnova, C. R. Alexander, and D. M. Wright, 2020: Improvements to Lake-Effect Snow Forecasts Using a One-Way Air–Lake Model Coupling Approach. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 21, 2813-2828,

Gallo, Burkely T., C. P. Kalb, J. H. Gotway, H. H. Fisher, B. Roberts, I. L. Jirak, A. J. Clark, C. Alexander, and T. L. Jensen, 2019: Initial Development and Testing of a Convection-Allowing Model Scorecard. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 100, ES367-ES384,

Jankov, I., J. Beck, J. Wolff, M. Harrold, J.B. Olson, T. Smirnova, C. Alexander, and J. Berner, 2019: Stochastically Perturbed Parameterizations in an HRRR-Based Ensemble. Mon. Wea. Rev., 147, 153–173,

Clark, A. J., I. L. Jirak, S. R. Dembek, G. J. Creager, F. Kong, K. W. Thomas, K. H. Knopfmeier, B. T. Gallo, C. J. Melick, M. Xue, K. A. Brewster, Y. Jung, A. Kennedy, X. Dong, J. Markel, M. Gilmore, G. S. Romine, K. R. Fossell, R. A. Sobash, J. R. Carley, B. S. Ferrier, M. Pyle, C. R. Alexander, S. J. Weiss, J. S. Kain, L. J. Wicker, G. Thompson, R. D. Adams-Selin, and D. A. Imy, 2018: The Community Leveraged Unified Ensemble (CLUE) in the 2016 NOAA/Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, 1433-1448,

Skinner, Patrick S., Dustan M. Wheatley, Kent H. Knopfmeier, Anthony E. Reinhart, Jessica J. Choate, Thomas A. Jones, Gerald J. Creager, David C. Dowell, Curtis R. Alexander, Therese T. Ladwig, Louis J. Wicker, Pamela L. Heinselman, Patrick Minnis, and Rabindra Palikonda, 2018: Object-Based Verification of a Prototype Warn-on-Forecast System. Weather and Forecasting, 33, 1225-1250,

Bytheway, Janice, C. Kummerow, C. Alexander, 2017: A Features-Based Assessment of the Evolution of Warm Season Precipitation Forecasts from the HRRR Model Over Three Years of Development. Wea. Forecasting, 32, 1841–1856.

Griffin, Sarah A., J. A. Otkin, C. M. Rozoff, J. M. Sieglaff, L. M. Cronce, C. R. Alexander, T. L. Jensen, and J. K. Wolff, 2017: Seasonal Analysis of Cloud Objects in the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model Using Object-Based Verification. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 56, 2317-2334.

Griffin, Sarah A., J. A. Otkin, C. M. Rozoff, J. M. Sieglaff, L. M. Cronce, and C. R. Alexander, 2017: Methods for comparing simulated and observed satellite infrared brightness temperatures and what do they tell us? Wea. Forecasting, 32, 5–25.

Hu, Ming, S.G. Benjamin, T. T. Ladwig, D. C. Dowell, S. S. Weygandt, C. R. Alexander, and J.S. Whitaker, 2017: GSI Three-Dimensional Ensemble–Variational Hybrid Data Assimilation Using a Global Ensemble for the Regional Rapid Refresh Model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 4205–4225.

Powers, Jordan G., J. B. Klemp, W. C. Skamarock, C. A. Davis, J. Dudhia, D. O. Gill, J. L. Coen, D. J. Gochis, R. Ahmadov, S. E. Peckham, G. A. Grell, J. Michalakes, S. Trahan, S. G. Benjamin, C. R. Alexander, G. J. Dimego, W. Wang, C. S. Schwartz, G. S. Romine, Z. Liu, C. Snyder, F. Chen, M. J. Barlage, W. Yu, and M.G. Duda, 2017: The Weather Research and Forecasting Model: Overview, System Efforts, and Future Directions. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 1717–1737.

Katona, Branden, P. Markowski, C. Alexander, S. Benjamin, 2016: The Influence of Topography on Convective Storm Environments in the Eastern United States as Deduced from the HRRR. Wea. Forecasting, 31, 1481–1490.

Benjamin, S., S. Weygandt, J. Brown, M. Hu, C. Alexander, T. Smirnova, J. Olson, E. James, D. Dowell, G. Grell, H. Lin, S. Peckham, T. Smith, W. Moninger, J. Kenyon and G. Manikin, 2016: A North American Hourly Assimilation and Model Forecast Cycle: The Rapid Refresh. Mon. Wea. Rev., 144, 1669-1694.

Ikeda, K., M. Steiner, J Pinto and C. Alexander, 2013: Evaluation of cold-season precipitation forecasts generated by the Hourly-updating High-resolution Rapid Refresh model. Wea. Forecasting., 28, 921-939.

Alexander, C. R., 2010: A mobile radar based climatology of supercell tornado structures and dynamics. PhD thesis, The University of Oklahoma, 251 pp.

Wurman, J., C. Alexander, P. Robinson, and Y. Richardson, 2008: Reply to comments on low-level winds and potential catastrophic impacts of tornadoes in urban areas by Blumenfeld, K. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 1580–1581.

Wurman, J., C. Alexander, P. Robinson, and Y. Richardson, 2008: Reply to comments on low-level winds and potential catastrophic impacts of tornadoes in urban areas. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 90-94.

Wurman, J., C. Alexander, P. Robinson, and Y. Richardson, 2007: Low-level winds and potential catastrophic impacts of tornadoes in urban areas. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, 31-46.

Wurman, J., Y. Richardson,  C. Alexander, S. Weygandt, and P.-F. Zhang, 2007: Dual-Doppler and single-Doppler analysis of a tornadic storm undergoing mergers and repeated tornadogenesis. Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 736-758.

Wurman, J., Y. Richardson,  C. Alexander, S. Weygandt, and P.-F. Zhang, 2007: Dual-Doppler analysis of winds and vorticity budget terms near a tornado. Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 2392-2405.

Alexander, C., and J. Wurman, 2005: The 30 May 1998 Spencer, South Dakota storm. Part 1: The structural evolution and environment of the supercell tornadoes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 72-96.

Dowell, D., C. Alexander, J. Wurman, and L. Wicker, 2005: Centrifuging of scatterers in tornadoes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 1501-1524.

Wurman, J., and C. Alexander, 2005: The 30 May 1998 Spencer, South Dakota storm. Part 2: Comparison of observed damage and radar-calculated winds in the supercell tornadoes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 97-119.