Markowski elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society

January 21, 2019

Penn State faculty member and alumnus Paul Markowski, a leading expert on the formation and forecasting of supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes, has been elected a 2019 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He is one of 27 new Fellows who were honored at the 99th AMS annual meeting held Jan. 6-10 in Phoenix.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized in this way, even if it makes me feel a little old now.  I’m grateful for the thoughtful colleagues who nominated me, and for my interactions with students and collaborators over the years. I also am indebted to my family for their unwavering support over the years,” said Markowski.

Markowski’s group investigates thunderstorms and their attendant hazards, particularly tornadoes, using state-of-the-art observations, computer simulations and theory. He has published more than 100 articles on topics that include thunderstorm formation, the origins of rotation in thunderstorms, the importance of downdrafts in tornado formation, the effects of terrain on storms, and what regulates the development of damaging straight-line winds in long lines of thunderstorms. 

He co-organized the Second Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2), served on the VORTEX2 steering committee, and served as the chief editor of AMS’ Journal of Weather and Forecasting from 2012–17. He currently serves on the President’s Advisory Committee on University Relations for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Markowski has won numerous honors and awards including the AMS Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award in 2015 for “advancing knowledge about the genesis of tornadoes through a rich mix of observations, theory, and numerical modeling,” the National Weather Association’s T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award in 2013 for “incisive research directly applicable to operational forecasting which has allowed significant advances in our understanding of and forecasting tornadic and nontornadic thunderstorm environments,” and the European Severe Storms Laboratory’s Nikolai Dotzek Award in 2011.

Markowski, professor and associate head for the graduate program in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, joined the Penn State faculty in 2001. He also serves on the University Graduate Council and is the faculty partner for the men’s golf team.

Markowski received a doctoral degree in 2000 and a master’s degree in 1997, both in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor's degree in meteorology from Penn State in 1996.

AMS fellows are elected on the basis of “outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.” Each year, the number of newly elected fellows is limited to two-tenths of one percent of the membership.” The AMS Fellows Program has been recognizing outstanding careers in the water, weather and climate community since 1966. Fellows retain the honor for life; represent all facets of the academic, government and private sectors; and work to ensure that their science, technology and services continue to benefit society. 

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Last Updated January 21, 2019