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Dave Turner
Senior Scientist
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328


Dr. David D. Turner

The focus of my research is to better understand various processes that act upon and within the boundary layer (e.g., convective initiation, turbulent redistribution of water vapor, aerosol, and energy, land-atmosphere interactions, etc.) and ultimately to improve the representation of these processes within numerical weather prediction and climate models. Part of this work includes continuing to develop and mature different ground-based profiling technologies to measure the temperature, humidity, and turbulent structure of the boundary layer, and using these observations to gain insight into how well NWP models (such as the high-resolution rapid refresh model (HRRR) which is developed in GSL) are representing atmospheric processes and evolution.  Improvement in these processes will not only enable better forecasts of impactful (severe) weather, but also greatly benefit the renewable energy community.


Senior Scientist

ResearcherID E-5180-2016
ORCID 0000-0003-1097-897X

Publications / CV

230 publications, 37 as first author, h-index from Google Scholar is 61
Download CV Turner Apr 16.pdf 669 KB

Research Interests

  • Boundary layer thermodynamic and dynamic structure, diurnal evolution, convection and convection initiation, and other processes
  • Characterizing land-atmosphere interactions, including turbulent interactions and the how the land surface affects cloud properties and vice versa, and improving the representation of these processes in models
  • Utilizing advanced thermodynamic and kinematic boundary layer profiling observations to evaluate and improve numerical weather prediction models
  • Passive and active remote sensing of boundary layer thermodynamic and dynamic structure 
  • Life cycle of clouds with low liquid water path (< 100 g/m2) and their impact on the radiative energy budget of the surface and atmosphere, especially when influenced by aerosols
  • Evolution of microphysical cloud properties, including the remote sensing of these properties, and understanding microphysical processes at work in mixed-phase clouds
  • Longwave (infrared and microwave) radiative transfer model improvements: gas spectroscopy and cloud absorption/scattering properties
  • Machine learning (ML) applications, including using physics-based constraints in training, parameterization replacement in numerical weather prediction, and model verification using ML


PhD, Atmospheric Science 2003, University of Wisconsin - Madison
MS, Mathematics 1994, Eastern Washington University
BA, Mathematics 1992, Eastern Washington University


  • Dec 2022 - Current: Senior scientist, GSL NOAA
  • May 2018 - Current: Manager, Atmospheric Science for Renewable Energy Program, GSL, NOAA
  • Oct 2016 - Dec 2022: Chief, Verification and Assessment Branch, Assimilation and Verification Innovation Division, Global Systems Laboratory, NOAA
  • Feb 2013 - Dec 2022: Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Mesoscale Studies (CIMMS), University of Oklahoma
  • Aug 2010 - Sep 2016: Meteorologist, Forecast Research and Development Division, National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA
  • Aug 2011 - Aug 2016: Adjunct Professor, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
  • Aug 2009 - Aug 2012: Assistant Professor, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Jun 2007 - Jul 2007: Guest Professor, Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne
  • Aug 2005 - Jul 2009: Research Scientist, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Jul 2003 - Jul 2005: Senior Research Scientist, Climate Physics Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Sep 2000 - Jun 2003: Graduate Research Assistant, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Jul 1994 - Aug 2000: Research Scientist I and II, Information Sciences and Engineering Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


  • 2021 NOAA Administrator Award
  • 2017 AGU Outstanding Reviewer

Professional Activities

  • Co-chair, Committee on Research and Innovation, ICAMS, 2022 - Present
  • Agency Coordinating Author, Mitigation Chapter, 5th National Climate Assessment, 2022 - Present
  • Member, WMO Nowcasting and Mesoscale Research Working Group, 2017 – present
  • Member, DOE ARM Atmospheric Modeling Advisory Group, 2016 – present
  • Member, American Meteorological Society (AMS), 1998 – present
  • Member, American Geophysical Union, 2003 – present 
  • Member, ACTRIS Data Center External Panel, 2015 – present
  • Member, Jülich Observatory for Cloud Evolution (JOYCE) advisory board, 2016 – present 
  • Lead Editor, AMS Monograph “The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program: The First 20 Years
  • Principal Investigator, DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program, 2005 – present
  • Member, University of Hohenheim Lan-Atmosphere Feedback Observatory Advisory Board
  • Member, NASA Planetary Boundary Layer Survey Team
  • Fellow, University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies

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