NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory Researcher Harold Brooks Honored by Alma Mater

Research meteorologist Harold Brooks, Ph.D., research meteorologist at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., will receive the William Jewell College Alumni Achievement Award during the William Jewell College 63rd Annual Achievement Day Dinner and Celebration on Thursday (March 8) in Liberty, Mo. The award is given to four alumni each year who have made significant contributions in their respective fields.

Brooks is being honored for developing and applying techniques to estimate the occurrence of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Accurate estimates of the true threats from severe weather are of use to a wide range of users, including weather forecasters, emergency management personnel, the insurance industry and the general public. Highly accurate and accessible estimates of long-term threats from tornadoes, thunderstorm winds and large hail will significantly improve the effectiveness of weather forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather events that could cause loss of life and property. Brooks was also awarded a Department of Commerce Silver Medal in 2002 for this work.

Brooks has also researched ways to produce, interpret and evaluate weather forecasts. This work has helped change the way forecasts are prepared and disseminated in a number of countries worldwide. Brooks graduated summa cum laude with honors in physics from William Jewell College in 1982. He was invited to graduate school at Columbia University and earned a M.A. and M. Phil. in atmospheric sciences. He came back to the Midwest to earn his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been at NSSL since 1992.

William Jewell College formally established Achievement Day in 1944. As part of the 62-year tradition, honorees meet formally and informally with students to discuss their individual roads to achievement. Proceeds from the event benefit need-based scholarships for students at William Jewell College.