Lance F. Bosart



January 2013

Synoptic/Dynamic Meteorology

Office: Earth Science 227

Phone: (518) 442-4564

Fax: (518) 442-5825



June 1964, B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August 1966, M.S. in Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

June 1969, Ph.D. in Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1969-1975: Assistant Professor. Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY

1975-1983: Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY

1983-2004: Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY

2004-present: Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY

1998-Present: NCAR Affiliate Scientist


I have broad research interests in planetary-scale, synoptic-scale and mesoscale meteorology. I work on a variety of multiscale (time and space) research problems that relate to the weather and climate of higher- and middle-latitude regions as well as the tropics. Research problems that involve winter storms, hurricanes, organized convective systems and the predictability of individual flow regimes are especially attractive to me. I am especially interested in problems at the weather-climate interface. I am also interested in the weather analysis and forecasting process including forecast verification studies and the measurement and assessment of forecaster skill. My forecast-related activities have stimulated me to pursue numerous synoptic-dynamic research opportunities with my graduate and undergraduate students that have resulted in refereed publications. I like to collaborate on research projects with other University at Albany faculty members in the synoptic-dynamic group and with colleagues at other institutions. Recent external collaborators include Chris Davis and Morris Weisman at NCAR, and Ron McTaggart-Cowan at the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC).

I have external research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for studies of tropical cyclones (TCs) that includes genesis, tropical transition (TT), extratropical transition (ET), and the problem of determining where heavy precipitation associated with landfalling TCs will fall relative to the track of the storm. As part of this NSF funded research I have become involved in cooperative modeling efforts with Chris Davis of NCAR and Ron McTaggart-Cowan at MSC on TCs that experience TT and ET. I have NOAA funding to support a weather-climate interface investigation of linked extreme weather events over the Americas and the contributions of tropical, middle latitude, and higher latitude forcing on the North Pacific jet stream to these extreme weather events on intraseasonal time scales. I also have NSF funding for PREDICT (Pre-depression investigation of cloud-systems in the tropics) for which a field experiment was held from 15 August to 30 September 2010 based out of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. This NSF funding supported several graduate students during the field phase and is now being used to support ongoing data analysis. Another NSF-funded proposal (joint with Prof. Daniel Keyser) is allowing us to investigate the predictability of the North Pacific jet stream in conjunction with polar-midlatitude interactions with the jet (e.g., coherent tropopause disturbances of arctic origin) and tropical-midlatititude interactions with the jet (e.g., recurving and transitioning tropical cyclones), particularly during periods of abrupt large-scale circulation regime changes. This research is funded through 2013.

Additional research support is provided by the NOAA/NWS/CSTAR program as part of a joint University at Albany and NWS cooperative research effort targeted at improving the prediction of warm- and cool-season heavy precipitation events over the northeastern US. This CSTAR-supported research effort, for which Prof. Daniel Keyser and I are the Co-PIs, is conducted in close collaboration with a number of NWS offices in the northeastern US. and is funded into 2013. As a part of this research effort, I have also established a close working relationship with staff members of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma, centered on the problem of convective storm forecasting. This cooperative effort has enabled me to participate with several of my graduate students in the annual SPC Spring Experiment (now a NOAA Testbed experiment) from 2004-2011. New UAlbany faculty (Kristen Corbosiero, Andrea Lang, Brian Tang, and Ryan Torn) are in the process of being entrained into the CSTAR project and new funding will be sought for this project beginning in 2013. New research projects to be launched in 2012 and 2013 include the NSF-funded Mesoscale Predictability Experiment (MPEX) and the NASA-funded HS3 (Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel) Experiment. The field phase of MPEX will take place in May/June of 2013. The NASA HS3 experiment will be ongoing during the late summer and early fall of 2012-2014.

My current research projects focus on observational and modeling studies of synoptic and mesoscale phenomena from a multiscale perspective. Specifically, I work with my students on a variety of research projects that seek to: (1) understand the physical processes governing the tropical transition (TT) and extratropical transition (ET) of tropical cyclones (TCs), (2) deduce what physical processes control the evolution and distribution of heavy precipitation associated with landfalling TCs with emphasis on predecessor rain events, (3) determine what physical conditions govern the unexpected rapid intensification of TCs close to the coast, (4) understand what physical processes govern the TT of cold-core baroclinic systems to warm-core TCs through real-data diagnostic analysis and numerical simulations, (5) document the structure and life cycles of continental and oceanic cyclones and anticyclones with emphasis on polar-midlatitude interactions, (6) explore the extent to which large-scale circulation patterns (e.g., the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Pacific-North American (PNA) pattern) control the extent and structure of storms over the northeastern US, (7) determine what factors control the predictability of regime changes as defined by major changes in the NAO and PNA indices, (8) investigate extreme weather events at the weather-climate interface that significantly impact intraseasonal variability, (9) investigate arctic-midlatitude interactions motivated by the ongoing and accelerating loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice,(10) explore how cutoff cyclones trigger damaging heavy precipitation events, (11) deduce the physical processes that control the evolution of mesoscale substructure within cyclones, (12) conduct detailed analyses of the structure and life cycle of warm season mesoscale convective weather systems in the vicinity of the Great Lakes and the Southwest, (13) define the environmental conditions associated with a spectrum of severe weather in the northeastern US and determine the impact of regional physiography on storm structure and evolution, and (14) document the nature of convection-dominated warm season heavy precipitation and stratiform-dominated cool season heavy precipitation events in the northeastern US. To the extent possible, the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model will be used to conduct real-data numerical simulations that are designed to test physical hypotheses for storm development formulated from the diagnostic analysis of these events.

I like to work with graduate students individually or cooperatively with other faculty members on a variety of research problems. Student interests can often dictate new research opportunities and directions. I also like to work with undergraduate students on research projects designed to stimulate their interest in atmospheric science.