UAlbany Faculty Experts: Hurricane Matthew Bears Down on U.S.

Hurricane Matthew nears the coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm, with winds of 140 miles per hour

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 6, 2016) – With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the east coast of the United States, more than 1.5 million Americans have already been instructed to evacuate their homes. The Hurricane, now a category 4 storm with winds of at least 140 miles per hour, has been blamed for the deaths of at least 100 people in Haiti.

University at Albany faculty experts are available to discuss the storm’s trajectory, the potential problems facing first responders, and the barriers confronting minority communities during natural disasters. Experts from UAlbany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, which comprises the largest concentration of weather research scientists in New York State and one of the largest in the country, can help explain the formation, trajectory, frequency and intensity of North American hurricanes, and what we might expect from Hurricane Matthew.

Some of these experts include:

  • Kristen Corbosiero, assistant professor: Corbosiero studies the structure and intensity change of tropical cyclones using both observational data sets and high-resolution numerical models. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the physical processes responsible for the formation of hurricane rain bands and secondary eyewalls, and how tropical cyclones respond to, and evolve in, vertical wind shear. In addition, Corbosiero is researching the mechanisms of rapid intensity change in hurricanes, and the impact of recurving eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones on the North American Monsoon System.
  • Blanca Gonzalez, adjunct professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity: Gonzalez teaches courses on the Introduction to Health Emergency Preparedness. She examines how emergency services interact with minority communities during crises, and barriers to health care for minorities. She has also presented on Hurricane Katrina: Public Health Impacts, Then, Now, and Tomorrow.
  • Eric Stern, professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity: Stern has published extensively in the fields of crisis and emergency management, crisis communication, resilience, security studies, executive leadership, foreign policy analysis and political psychology. Other key areas of interest and expertise include social media and crisis preparedness, post-crisis evaluation and learning, interactive education and instructional design, and case research/teaching methodologies.
  • Brian Tang, assistant professor: Tang focuses on aspects of tropical cyclones, including their formation, intensification, and interaction with other components of the climate system. His interests lie with how vertical wind shear weakens tropical cyclones through ventilation, how tropospheric moisture affects the development of tropical disturbances, and what sets the variability of tropical disturbances and genesis productivity globally and regionally.
  • Christopher Thorncroft, professor and chair: Thorncroft's research is focused on improving our understanding of West African monsoons and how they impact Atlantic tropical cyclone variability. The research spans a wide range of timescales and focuses on understanding the physical processes that impact the nature and variability of African easterly waves (AEWs). This includes a special emphasis on how AEWs interact with mesoscale convective systems and ultimately how this affects the probability that AEWs will help spawn tropical hurricanes and cyclones.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.