American Meteorological Society presents awards to NOAA forecasters and researchers during annual meeting

Several local National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees will be honored by the American Meteorological Society at its 81st Annual Meeting in Albuquerque this week.

Steven F. Corfidi, a lead forecaster with NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman has won the 2001 Exceptional Specific Prediction Award. He will be recognized “for his exceptional forecast of the Jarrell, Texas, tornado on Tuesday, 27 May 1997.” The award is presented by the AMS to recognize the importance of weather forecasting to public safety and well-being and of the valuable professional services provided by people engaged in forecasting activities.

Corfidi has been a lead forecaster at the SPC since 1994. His expertise in thunderstorm and tornado development played a key role in his forecast of the deadly tornado that struck the small town three years ago. Before the SPC, Corfidi worked for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Camp Springs, Md., and in Kansas City, Mo. A native of Baltimore, Md., Corfidi earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

AMS Editor’s Awards will be presented to David M. Schultz, a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman and Stephen J. Weiss, a lead forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center. In addition, Weiss will be named a Fellow of the AMS.

Schultz is being recognized “for providing extremely thorough, timely and constructive evaluations of a large number of manuscripts over a diverse range of topics, and for special assistance to the editors in evaluating controversial issues” for the Monthly Weather Review, one of nine AMS scientific journals. Schultz specializes in synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, including fronts and western United States weather systems. He earned a doctorate in atmospheric science from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s degree from University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an associate editor of the Monthly Weather Review since 1999.

Weiss is being honored for “the completion of several extremely knowledgeable, very constructive and remarkably thorough reviews for manuscripts focused on severe weather detection and prediction” for the AMS’ Weather and Forecasting journal. His expertise in diagnosing and predicting severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over the United States has played a key role in many severe weather outbreaks including the May 1985 tornadoes in Ohio and Pennsylvania and the late February 1998 tornadoes in central Florida. As a lead forecaster, Weiss mentors young forecasters and participates in field experiments and research projects to better understand and forecast tornadoes. He earned his master’s degree in meteorology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Doug Lilly, a distinguished senior scientist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory and emeritus professor of meteorology at The University of Oklahoma, will be named an honorary member of the AMS. His major areas of research have focused on small scale atmospheric phenomena, including convective storms, mountain waves, turbulence and oceanic clouds. His many honors in the meteorology field include: election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, as well as receiving the Second Half Century Award in 1973 and the Carl-Gustav Rossby Medal in 1986, both from the American Meteorological Society, and the Symons Gold Medal from the Royal Meteorological Society in 1993.

Lilly joined the University of Oklahoma as a professor of meteorology in 1982 and held the Robert Lowry endowed chair in meteorology from 1992 until his retirement in 1995. He served as the director of the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, Science and Technology Center from 1989 to 1994 and director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies from 1987 to 1991. Before joining OU, he was a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and a research meteorologist with NOAA’s General Circulation Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Born in San Francisco, Lilly received his doctorate in 1958 and master’s degree in 1955, both in meteorology from Florida State University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford University in 1950.

The American Meteorological Society is the nation’s leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences. Founded in 1919, the scientific and professional organization promotes the development and dissemination of information on atmospheric, oceanic and hydrologic sciences.