Gab at the Lab: Patrick Skinner

Patrick Skinner, NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate


Background:Ph.D., Wind Science and Engineering, Texas Tech, 2014
M.S. Atmospheric Sciences, Texas Tech, 2009
B.S. Earth Sciences - Meteorology, U. of Northern Colorado, 2003
Experience:Patrick had an interesting journey to becoming a meteorologist, which included a few stints at Dominos pizza! From those experiences, he learned patience and perseverance that helped propel him through a doctorate degree program and, ultimately, to a position with NSSL. Since December 2013, Patrick has been a member of the Forecast Research & Development Division here at the Lab. He works on the Warn-on-Forecast project. Starting in December 2015, he will join OU CIMMS as a Postdoc, researching applications for Warn-on-Forecast in the upcoming VORTEX-SE project.
What He Does:As a contributor to the Warn-on-Forecast project, Patrick focuses on verification, optimizing observation density, and EnKF analyses of supercells. He uses data assimilation to study supercell dynamics. He ensures that the density of observations is not degrading the quality of the forecast. He also uses object- and optical flow-based verification for Warn-on-Forecast. The project aims to increase tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood warning lead times and offers a new approach in which probabilistic guidance is provided by an ensemble of model forecasts. Learn more:
Trivia: Patrick was recently married and enjoyed a trip to Innsbruck, Austria with his wife in September!
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: David Warde

David Warde, Scientist/Researcher (OU CIMMS)


Background:B.S., Dual Major: Management Computer Information Systems/Computer Science, Park University, 2003.
A.S., Electronic/Instrument, Regents College, 1997.
Experience:Originally from Nebraska, David served in the United States Navy as Senior Chief Petty Officer Aviation Electronics Technician/Aircrewman. From 2003 to 2008, he worked as Radar Systems Engineer support contractor for the WSR-88D Radar Operations Center, where he designed hardware upgrades to the WSR-88D testbeds and provided support of signal processing enhancements to the NEXRAD operational system. He joined OU’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Studies in 2008.
What He Does:David is part of the Advanced Radar Techniques team within the Radar Research and Development Division of the National Severe Storms Laboratory. This group transfers new science to the National Weather Service (NWS) to improve the quality of the NEXRAD radar data which is useful for NWS forecasters and downstream automated processes. A recent transfer of new science to the NWS is the CLEAN-AP™ filter which automates the mitigation of ground clutter contamination from the radar data. The group also examines the possibilities of Multi-Function Phased Array Radar with the goal of providing better quality, coverage, accuracy, and timeliness of meteorological products.
Trivia: The ART group likens themselves to Star Wars Jedis - the first line of defense against poor radar data!
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Kongmeng Xiong

Kongmeng Xiong, Web Designer/Developer


Background:A.A.S. Computer Science, Northern Oklahoma A&M College
Experience:Kongmeng is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. While pursuing his A.A.S. degree in computer science, he earned third place in the Donald Reynolds Governor’s Cup, a collegiate business plan competition. He also came in third at Nationals for Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda, receiving a commendation from Governor Mary Fallon. He joined NSSL fairly recently - his first day was August 6 of this year.
What He Does:Kongmeng is working on design, development, and implementation of VLab here at NSSL. This new program will help us to collaborate more efficiently by storing information in a centralized location. He particularly enjoys meeting new people, and makes an effort to get to know the clients he serves. He looks forward to getting to know everyone at NSSL and finding new ways to develop our resources!
Trivia: Kongmeng comes from a big family! He has 5 siblings - 3 brothers and 2 sisters. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, sampling new foods, and, of course, keeping up-to-date on the latest technology!
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Mark Weber

Mark Weber, Senior Research Physicist (IPA)





Background:B.A. Physics, Washington University
Ph.D. Geophysics, Rice University, 1979
Experience:Mark was with the Naval Research Center from 1981-1984, then joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory through 2014. At Lincoln Lab, he was Assistant Head of the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division. Prior to holding this title, he led the Weather Sensing Group at the Lab, which is responsible for developing technology to support commercial aviation in the United States. Mark specifically focused on radar development and forecast algorithms to improve decision support in air traffic control.
What He Does:Mark plays a significant role in studying Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) here at NSSL. He helps develop the radar architecture and researches strategies for future transitions in technology. Mark uses unique resources, like drones and Cubesat soundings, to explore the next generation of observing system concepts. He plans to use NoXP radar to study rapid changes in polarimetric variables, like those associated with ice crystal alignment in thunderstorms (caused by electric field build-up) and subsequent collapse following lightning.
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Kiel Ortega

Kiel Ortega, Research Associate (OU CIMMS)


Background:B.S. University of Oklahoma, 2005
M.S. University of Oklahoma, 2008
Experience:Kiel was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He began his career in 2004 as an undergraduate assistant with OU’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. He became a graduate assistant in 2005, then research associate in 2008. During his years with NSSL, Kiel has done extensive work in the field. He participated in the VORTEX 2 campaign and assisted with damage surveys after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.
What He Does: Currently, Kiel is working on NSSL’s SHAVE and MYRORSS projects. SHAVE, which stands for Severe Hazards Analysis & Verification Experiment, aims to collect high quality data that identifies distribution of hail sizes, wind damage, and flash flooding in severe thunderstorms. This data helps us evaluate the performance of multi-radar, multi-sensor algorithms and also helps researchers develop new tools and techniques. MYRORRS, or Multi-Year Reanalysis Of Remotely-Sensed Storms, is an effort to evaluate model output and radar products from 15 years of WSR-88D data over the continental U.S. From this information, we can improve warning guidance.
Trivia:Kiel has two dogs, Remy and Cece, and he enjoys exploring craft beers and hiking/backpacking.
Learn More:Visit our website for more about SHAVE: SHAVE
Share this:

2016 AMS Awards

The American Meteorological Society announced winners of the 2016 AMS Awards to be presented during their January annual meeting, and two NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory researchers were among the honorees. Winners were selected from nominations provided by AMS members, who submitted names of deserving colleagues and peers.

James F. Kimpel  was selected to receive the Charles Franklin Brooks Award for “decades of faithful service and enlightened leadership in the Society, guiding it to remain vigorous, relevant, and focused on the future.” Dr. Kimpel served as the director of NSSL for thirteen years, and was elected president of the AMS in 2000.

Richard J. Doviak was chosen to receive the 2016 Remote Sensing prize for “fundamental contributions to weather radar science and technology, with applications to observations of severe storms and tropospheric winds.” Dr. Doviak joined NSSL in 1971 and has been noted for his extensive work on Doppler radar and remote sensing. He has received multiple awards over the years and has been invited to speak at conferences around the world.

doviakFor a complete list of the 2016 AMS Awards, please visit:

Congratulations to all the winners!

Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Mike Coniglio

Mike Coniglio, Research Scientist

Mike Coniglio

Background:B.S. Meteorology, SUNY-Oswego
M.S., Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Experience:Mike grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he got a lot of experience with lake-effect snowfall! He earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the State University of New York - Oswego, before making his way to Oklahoma for his M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Mike joined OU CIMMS in 2006, then transitioned to a Federal position in 2008. He has been working with NSSL in various roles since 1998.
What He Does:Mike is part of the FRDD team here at NSSL. He has worked extensively in the field and has also helped develop numerical forecast models. He primarily studies thunderstorms, particularly those which are heavy wind producers, or derechos. He took part in the PECAN field experiment this summer, studying the nighttime development of these storms and the conditions that support them. Mike also takes an active role in collaboration with the Storm Prediction Center. Last year, he began working forecast shifts at SPC, and he is currently working on researching ways to improve short-term forecasts of severe weather.
Trivia: Mike and his wife have a 4-year-old daughter, and when he isn’t chasing storms, he enjoys honing his photography skills, birding, and catching up on the latest HGTV shows.
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Kim Elmore

Kim Elmore, Research Scientist (OU CIMMS)





Background:B.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
M.S., Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Experience:Kim worked for the National Center for Atmospheric Research before coming to NSSL in 1995. During his 20+ years as a research scientist here, he has developed new radar techniques, statistical verification and extraction methods, and performed field work on various projects. Most recently, he has played an instrumental role in developing the mPING app for NSSL, which has received wide acclaim.
What He Does:The mPING app was developed as a crowd-sourcing tool for collecting weather reports. mPING stands for Meteorological Phenomenon Identification Near the Ground. The app provides an opportunity for individuals to immediately share their weather observations, which then become archived and publically accessible. This information helps NOAA’s National Weather Service to fine-tune their forecasts, and assists NSSL in developing new radar and forecasting technologies and techniques.
For More: Download mPING -

Check out mPING in the White House blog -
Share this:

Gab at the Lab: Dusty Wheatley

Dusty Wheatley, Research Scientist (OU CIMMS)



Background:B.A. Mathematics, Bellarmine University
M.S., Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Purdue University
Experience:Dusty is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He earned his undergraduate degree in math from Bellarmine University and his graduate degrees in atmospheric science from Purdue University. Upon completion of his graduate studies in 2007, he joined NSSL as an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, and is currently a research scientist with CIMMS/NSSL.
What He Does:Dusty’s work uses data assimilation methods to combine routine weather observations and radar data with weather models, and is focused on improving forecasts of tornado-producing thunderstorms and other hazardous weather. His work is part of the Warn-on-Forecast project currently underway at NSSL.



Share this:

Gab at the Lab: James Murnan

James Murnan, Audio/ Visuals Production Specialist


Background:B.A. Film & Video, University of Oklahoma, 2005
Minor: General Business
Experience:James got his start at the Radar Operations Center as a student in 2003. He created the ROC tour video and assisted on the NSSL 40th anniversary project. He was eventually hired full time as a contractor in 2005, joint funded by several NOAA partners.
What He Does:James works on a variety of public relations and outreach projects. He is involved in all aspects of production on video assignments, from script to shoot to final cut. He photographs noteworthy activities and events, including Hazardous Weather Testbed experiments, visiting dignitaries, field research, and the National Weather Festival. He brings our science to life and makes it accessible to everyone!
Trivia: James is married with five children - four daughters and one son.
For More: Check out James’ work on our YouTube (NOAAWP) and Flickr (NSSL NOAA) pages. His visuals are also widely used on our Facebook (NOAA NSSL), Twitter (@NSSL), and Instagram (NOAANSSL) sites.


Share this: