Louis Wicker


Warn on Forecast Program

Job Title:Meteorologist and Chief Scientist of the Warn on Forecast Program


Email:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Google Scholar

I have a broad set of research interests which generally are focused on numerical analysis, simulation, and forecasts of severe convection and tornadoes. My original research interests in supercells and tornadoes can be traced back to nearly my high school days in the late 1970s. While obtaining my undergraduate and Master's degrees at University of Oklahoma in the 1980s, I became an avid storm chaser and eventually was fortunate enough to be able to work on some of the first in situ deployments of instruments near severe storms with my mentors: Howie Bluestein (OU) and later Don Burgess and Bob Davies-Jones (NSSL). I got the modeling bug while doing my work with Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen on satellite temperature assimilation for my Master's degree. I left Oklahoma in summer of 1986 to begin a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. I was fortunate to have Dr. Robert Wilhelmson as my dissertation advisor and together we investigated tornadogenesis within supercells using some of the first sub-200m resolution numerical simulations. The work was facilitated and supported by one of the five original and newly formed NSF computing centers, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. I became very interested in the developing paradigm of "computational science" that is now ubiquitous across most scientific disciplines. During most of the 1990s I was a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. In 1999 I was very fortunate to be able to return to my meteorological roots here in Norman as a scientist at the National Severe Storms Lab. My work today continues to focus on severe storms and tornadoes. The tremendous effort and resulting progress by hundreds of scientists during the past 30 years has led to a substantial increase in our scientific understanding of severe weather, and this progress has led to improved forecasts and more accurate warnings for the U.S. public.

Degree (Ph.D, M.S, B.A, etc.) Major Subject University or College Name Year (YYYY) (optional)
Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences University of Illinois 1990
Research Interests
  • numerical methods, storm-scale dynamics, storm-scale prediction, software development.
Professional Activities
  • Co-Chair of the UFS CAM working group
  • WildCare Oklahoma
Selected Publications

McCurry, J. J. Poterjoy, K. Knopfmeier, and L. J. Wicker, 2023: Probabilistic Analysis of Severe Convective Storms through Non-Gaussian Data Assimilation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 151, 1609-1629. PDF Available Here

Labriola, J., J. Gibbls, and L. J. Wicker, 2023: A method for generating a quasi-linear convective line suitable for observing system simulation experiments. Geosci. Model Dev., 16, 1779–1799. PDF Available Here

Galarneau, T. J., L. J. Wicker, K. H. Knopfmeier, W. Miller, P. S. Skinner, and K. A. Wilson, 2022: Short-Term Prediction of a Nocturnal Significant Tornado Outbreak Using a Convection-Allowing Ensemble. Wea. Forecasting, 37, 1027–1047. PDF Available Here

Wicker, L. J., and W. C. Skamarock, 2020:  An Implicit-Explicit Vertical Transport Scheme for Convection Allowing Models.  Mon. Wea. Rev., 148, 3893-3910. PDF

Wienhoff, Z. B., H. E. Bluestein, D. W. Reif, R. M. Wakimoto, and L. J. Wicker, 2020: Analysis of debris signature characteristics and evolution in the 24 May 2016 Dodge City, Kansas, tornadoes. Mon. Wea. Rev. 148, 5063-5086. PDF available here.