The university is partnering with four other institutions in a new collaboration dedicated to high-impact weather research as part of a five-year, $200 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Texas Tech University's atmospheric science program – an affiliate of the university's National Wind Institute (NWI) and part of the Department of Geosciences – is receiving a much deserved recognition. On June 15, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it has selected Texas Tech to be part of its new Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations (CISHIWRO). CISHIWRO is funded by the five-year, $200 million NOAA grant.
Texas Tech is one of five institutions comprising CISHIWRO. The University of Oklahoma is hosting the cooperative with Howard University, Pennsylvania State University and the State University of New York at Albany also contributing. Each institution will receive various amounts of the $200 million.
“All these institutions are recognized for excellence in the field of atmospheric science, and this cooperative institute represents a formal path by which collaborative, high-impact research can be carried out to further the mission of NOAA to protect life and property from severe weather hazards,” said Christopher Weiss, a professor of atmospheric science and Texas Tech's lead investigator in CISHIWRO.
The goal of the research is to improve the fundamental understanding of severe weather hazards and develop techniques and products that can more effectively communicate these threats to the general population, Weiss said.
“Ultimately, these efforts will save lives and mitigate the damage done to property,” he explained.
Texas Tech will focus intensely on topics of mutual interest to the university and NOAA. The university's atmospheric science group brings a wealth of experience with severe weather observations and numerical modeling, expertise with the impacts of severe winds on built structures and growing capabilities with respect to understanding the socioeconomic dimension of these hazards.
Some of the weather-related expertise and instruments offered at Texas Tech include the Hurricane Research Team, West Texas Mesonet, Debris Impact Facility, VorTECH, Ka-band Mobile Doppler Radar Trucks and StickNet platforms. A group from NWI – formerly known as the National Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (WiSE) – also were responsible for creating the Enhanced Fujita Scale.