Lance F. Bosart

Lance F. Bosart
Distinguished Professor
Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences

June 1964, BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August 1966, MS in Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

June 1969, PhD in Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Research Interests

I have broad research interests in planetary-scale, synoptic-scale and mesoscale meteorology. I work on a variety of multiscale (time and space) research problems that relate to the weather and climate of higher- and middle-latitude regions as well as the tropics. Research problems that involve winter storms, hurricanes, organized convective systems and the predictability of individual flow regimes are especially attractive to me. I am especially interested in problems at the weather-climate interface. I am also interested in the weather analysis and forecasting process including forecast verification studies and the measurement and assessment of forecaster skill. My forecast-related activities have stimulated me to pursue numerous synoptic-dynamic research opportunities with my graduate and undergraduate students that have resulted in refereed publications. I like to collaborate on research projects with other University at Albany faculty members in the synoptic-dynamic group and with colleagues at other institutions. Recent external collaborators include Chris Davis and Morris Weisman at NCAR, and Ron McTaggart-Cowan at the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC).

I have external research support, joint with Professor Daniel Keyser, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for "Phenomenological Studies of Cool-Season Extreme Weather Events over Central and Eastern North America on Intraseasonal Time Scales." This NSF grant was received in 2014 and is funded for three years.  I also have funding from the NSF for "High Plains Convection: Diurnally Varying Mesoscale-Synoptic Scale Interactions over Complex Terrain during the Mesoscale Predictability Experiment (MPEX)." This grant will run through late 2016 with an approved supplement and no-cost extension.  Support may exist for one new graduate student on these NSF grants beginning in September 2015.

Additional research support is provided by the NOAA/NWS/CSTAR program as part of a joint University at Albany and NWS cooperative research effort targeted at improving the prediction of warm- and cool-season heavy precipitation events over the northeastern US. This CSTAR-supported research effort, for which Prof. Kristen Corbosiero is the PI and I am one of the five Co-PIs, is conducted in close collaboration with a number of NWS offices in the northeastern U.S. and is funded into 2017. As a part of this research effort, I have also established a close working relationship with staff members of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma, centered on understanding the scientific challenges of organized convective storm development and severe weather forecasting. This cooperative effort has enabled me to participate with several of my graduate students in the annual SPC Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE).  I have been participating in the SFE, which is a part of the NOAA testbed, with my graduate students from 2004 to the present. 

I am also a Co-Investigator on a NOAA Project led by Altug Aksoy and Jason Dunion entitled "Using NOAA UAS Assets and OSSE/DA Capabilities to Improve Sampling Strategies and Numerical Prediction of Tropical Cyclone Track, Intensity, and Structure."  This project is funded from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2017.  This project will be able to support any new graduate students.

I am the PI, and Professor Daniel Keyser is the Co-PI on a NOAA-NCEP-WPC proposal that was funded in May 2015 to investigate how to improve the probabilistic forecasting of extreme temperature and precipitation events in the 8-10 day time range.  This funded proposal currently supports a full-time postdoctoral research associate (Dr. Andrew C. Winters). Funding is not available to support a new graduate student.

I am a co-investigator on an NSF proposal in the program for Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE). The project is entitled “Building Extreme Weather Resiliency Through Improved Weather and Climate Prediction and Response Strategies.” The project is led by ASRC Director Dr. Everette Joseph and was funded in September 2015. I will work with co-principal investigator Christopher Thorncroft. We will focus on case studies and composite analyses of terrain-influenced extreme rainfall events in the northeastern U.S. and Taiwan. This project supports two existing graduate students.

I am a Co-PI, along with Co-PI John R. Gyakum (McGill University), on a two-year NOAA-funded proposal led by Dr. Raul Roebber (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), entitled “Improving Prediction of Large-scale regime changes.” This grant began in September 2016 and will support one existing graduate student.

I have a proposal pending with the NSF entitled “Impacts of Rossby wave breaking and potential vorticity streamer formation on the environment of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic.” This proposal, if funded (decision expected by late winter 2017), might be able to support one new graduate student for the 2017–2018 academic year.


My current research projects focus on observational and modeling studies of synoptic and mesoscale phenomena from a multiscale perspective. Specifically, I work with my students on a variety of research projects that seek to: (1) understand the physical processes governing the tropical transition (TT) and extratropical transition (ET) of tropical cyclones (TCs), (2) deduce what physical processes control the evolution and distribution of heavy precipitation associated with landfalling TCs, (3) understand what physical processes govern the TT of cold-core baroclinic systems to warm-core TCs through real-data diagnostic analysis and numerical simulations, (4) document the structure and life cycles of continental and oceanic cyclones and anticyclones with emphasis on polar-midlatitude interactions and explore the extent to which large-scale circulation patterns (e.g., the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Pacific-North American (PNA) pattern) control the extent and structure of these storms, (5) investigate extreme weather events at the weather-climate interface that significantly impact intraseasonal variability, (6) investigate arctic-midlatitude interactions motivated by the ongoing and accelerating loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice, (7) explore how cutoff cyclones trigger damaging heavy precipitation events, (8) deduce the physical processes that control the evolution of mesoscale substructure within cyclones, (9) conduct detailed analyses of the structure and life cycle of challenging to forecast warm season mesoscale convective weather systems across the U.S., (10) define the environmental conditions associated with a spectrum of severe weather in the northeastern US and determine the impact of regional physiography on storm structure and evolution, and (11) document the nature of convection-dominated warm season heavy precipitation and stratiform-dominated cool season heavy precipitation events in the northeastern US. To the extent possible, the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model will be used to conduct real-data numerical simulations that are designed to test physical hypotheses for storm development formulated from the diagnostic analysis of these events.

I like to work with graduate students individually or cooperatively with other faculty members on a variety of research problems. Student interests can often dictate new research opportunities and directions. I also like to work with undergraduate students on research projects designed to stimulate their interest in atmospheric science.