Monsoonal flash floods and diagnosis of convection initiation using UAS measurements

Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

4 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021
Contact the department for zoom details or to subscribe to the seminar email list

Steven Koch
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona


Following a brief summary of familiar Southwest Monsoon flow scenarios, Dr. Koch will focus on the various mesoscale aspects needed to be observed to be able to predict whether, when, where, and how deep convection will develop within these scenarios. Mesoscale convective initiation mechanisms, as well as instability and moisture fields, will be discussed in terms of their importance in producing flash flooding. Because of well-known deficiencies in other measurement systems such as radar and satellite for this purpose, emphasis will be placed on the role of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – both fixed-wing and rotary types – for monitoring the mesoscale environment leading to convection initiation. Results from an experiment conducted with UAS with this specific goal in mind will be shared.


Dr. Steven Koch joined the University of Arizona in the Spring Semester 2021 as a new Research Professor with the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Prior to joining the U of A family, from 2011-2019, he was Director of the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and, since 2019, Adjunct Full Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma at Norman in 1979. Dr. Koch has a broad understanding of atmospheric science and expertise in the application and use of scientific research results into operations. He has a long history of teaching meteorology courses to both college students and National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters and is widely recognized for his impressive record in developing and transitioning Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), observational, and meteorological information systems to operational use by the NWS. Dr. Koch specializes in the application and use of Doppler radar and microwave wind profilers, differential absorption and Doppler wind lidars, microwave radiometers, and interferometers, and geostationary satellite imagery to address the needs of improving fundamental scientific understanding and prediction of mesoscale weather phenomena. He was honored with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement award in 2019, the National Weather Association Larry R. Johnson Award in 2015, and the National Weather Association Research Achievement Award in 1998.