Prof. Chavas receives NSF CAREER Award
Assistant Professor Dan Chavas has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER Program supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research. The award will provide five years of funding, totaling $711,000.
"Climate Controls on Hurricane Landfall via the Subtropical High"
Hurricanes making landfall pose significant risks to society. While we can forecast hurricanes a few days ahead, having predictions with longer lead times is preferable for better preparation against the impending hazards. Currently, seasonal hurricane predictions are skillful at letting us know of the possible hurricane activity over the entire ocean basin. However, such forecast does not pinpoint the coastal vicinity where hurricane may strike. Over the ocean, the large-scale wind pattern consists of gyres around high atmospheric pressure centers in the subtropics (or subtropical highs). This pattern evolves very slowly and can steer hurricanes toward or away from the coast. Here, the project will investigate the evolution of these subtropical highs and their connection to hurricane tracks and landfall. Emerging results may enhance seasonal hurricane forecast and help us mitigate future hurricane hazards. The project also aims to develop a future workforce that can combine weather and climate information to minimize environmental risk and improve decision making.
The research goal is to understand the co-variability between subtropical highs and hurricane landfall. The project objectives are to (1) quantify the variability of subtropical highs and hurricane landfalls globally, and (2) assess this relationship with respect to the impact land-sea temperature contrast and sea surface temperature. The investigator will analyze historical data and current climate simulations and conduct new experiments using idealized aqua-planet climate model and realistic climate models. The educational goal is to train citizens to address problems related to weather and climate. The project will develop a cohort-based internship program with various partners to provide real-word experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in atmospheric science. The investigator will use this internship to assess skill gaps and enhance university atmospheric science curricula to better prepare students.