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Home » Staff Profiles
William Moninger
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328


Bill is a semi-retired physicist who works on evaluating the skill of weather prediction models. He is also an expert in automated weather observations by commercial aircraft. Prior to that, during his 47-year career at NOAA and the University of Colorado he worked on artificial intelligence applied to weather forecasting, and in radar meteorology.

Research Interests
  • Evaluation of weather model skill
  • Statistical significance testing
  • Presentation of scientific data on the internet
  • quality control of meteorological data
  • social uses of high technology


Dr. Moninger retired from government service in May 2010 and is currently working 30% time as a research associate with CIRES, a cooperative research institute of NOAA and the University of Colorado. (Generally Tue, Wed, Thursday afternoons.)

Dr. Moninger is a physicist currently developing data quality assurance, data analysis, and display systems for meteorological data. Current application areas include
  • Acquisition, quality control, and display of meteorological data from scheduled commercial airlines ("AMDAR", "ACARS", and "MDCRS" data).
  • Statistical verification of weather forecasts.
  • Interactive display of surface temperature, wind, and precipitation data, and of upper air data from models and in-situ sensors.

Dr. Moninger has been displaying scientific results on the web since 1995 and was the founding chair of his laboratory's World Wide Web Working Group.

From 1986 until 1993, Dr. Moninger also served as a special adviser on artificial intelligence applications for the Environmental Research Laboratories (now a part of NOAA Research). In that capacity, he pursued several artificial intelligence research areas including expert system development and studies of judgment and decision-making in weather forecasting. He also lectured extensively on this work and on other AI applications within the environmental sciences.

Dr. Moninger was the founding chair of the STAC Committee on Artificial Intelligence of the American Meteorological Society.

He joined NOAA in 1976 as a physicist with the Meteorological Radar Group of the Wave Propagation Laboratory. While in that position, he performed research in: electromagnetic scattering theory as applied to dual-polarization radar measurements, acquisition and analysis of dual-polarization radar data, multi-Doppler storm reconstruction and analysis, and mathematical and computer techniques for the acquisition, analysis, and display of radar data. He is the inventor of the TRACIR technique for using chaff as a tracer in clouds and precipitation.
Dr. Moninger is the author of over 100 publications in these areas and in artificial intelligence and the recipient of several awards.
Prior to joining the Environmental Research Laboratories, he was Chair of the Physics Department at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Honors and Awards
  • December 2008 - ESRL/Global Systems Division Web Award for Most Improved Site - Susan Sahm and Bill Moninger for the FIM Model Verification Sites. "The RAOB comparison site has been around a while but has been recently updated and extended to include the FIM Global Model as well as the addition of the anomaly correlation site. The FIM Model verification sites are the first global model verification capabilities at ESRL. They use extremely flexible and powerful web applications to provide verification statistics for the globe and for several sub-regions for two global models: the FIM, developed at ESRL, and the GFS, running operationally at NCEP. The sites have been crucial in identifying model weaknesses and evaluating the fixes to those weaknesses."
  • December 2005 - NOAA Research Employee of the Year for work with AMDAR data.
  • December 2005 - Earth System Research Laboratory / Global Systems Division Web Award Most Improved Website: AMDAR Data Display "This application has extended to global data over the past year, with widespread international usage. Bill has coordinated with users, the international aircraft data community, and carriers themselves to improve its use, especially over Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. This site is considered to be far and away the best website on global aircraft data anywhere."
  • October 2005 - NASA Aviation Safety and Security Program Award for "outstanding contributions to aviation weather safety research and development."
  • December 2003 - Forecast Systems Laboratory Web Award for the Best Web Product: the FSL (now GSL) Publications website, which allows GSL's publication information to be accessed and maintained over the web.
  • December 2003 - Forecast Systems Laboratory Web Award for the Most Improved Web Product. "By incorporating the MySQL database, Bill Moninger of the Forecast Research Division significantly improved the speed of access to verification statistics on the Real-Time Verification System (RTVS) site. The improved performance is a boon to FSL scientists, our collaborators at the Aviation Weather Center and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the aviation user community."


For earlier publications, see