OU receives grant that will help save lives

OU receives grant that will help save lives

Jarad Reed, Web Creative Director

To keep up with Oklahoma’s weather, you need high-tech equipment and highly-trained professionals in order for the public to plan and live our daily lives accordingly.

The University of Oklahoma has been training these professional meteorologists since 1960. To help them do this, they have received a seventy million dollar grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The research will enhance understanding of extreme weather, as well as short term regional climate,” said OU President David Boren.

The partnership allows researchers at OU to receive support for research projects that involve NOAA scientists. Institute scientists do collaborate with NOAA scientists, but most often work with those in the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and five other National Weather Service units. NOAA funding is based on the number of projects the university proposes and is variable from year to year.

Director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meterological Studies Peter J. Lamb said, “The continued involvement by NOAA of substantial research funding for OU is a tribute to the outstanding work done by our faculty, staff and students. It is another example of the way in which OU research creates jobs and economic development for our state.” Lamb added that “devastating tornado outbreaks last spring and long-term drought across the south central United States are just two recent situations illustrating the need for the kind of research we do with NOAA and other agency funding.”

He also said the institute will focus on five research themes: weather radar research and development, stormscale and mesoscale modeling research and development, forecast improvements research, impacts of climate change related to extreme weather events, and social and socioeconomic impacts of severe weather systems.

In closing, Boren said, “The research benefits not only Oklahoma but the nation, it literally saves lives by bringing accurate weather information to the public.”