Professor Atkins’s research interests are in the area of mesoscale meteorology with a focus on severe local storms. Professor Atkins has published papers on the sea breeze, dryline, bow echoes, tornadoes, and supercell thunderstorms. He has also been involved in many field programs including the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification Experiment (CaPE), the Bow Echo and MCV Experiment (BAMEX), and both Verification on the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX 1 and 2). His current focus is on better understanding the relationship between the visual characteristics, damage, and radar signatures produced by tornadoes.
Professor Shafer’s research interests include the effects of terrain on winter storms and the development and application of weather forecast information to the transportation and energy sectors. He conducts research on subseasonal temperature prediction over US markets and high-impact weather that produces power outages. His applied research supports the clients of the Vermont Institute of Applied Meteorology. He also serves as a forensic weather expert when litigation involves hazardous weather conditions.
Professor Hanrahan’s research has included connecting regional precipitation behavior to large-scale climate variability and trends. This work has been used to understand water level fluctuations of the Great Lakes and intense rainfall events in central Alberta. She has also examined procedures for model optimization for the purpose of accurately downscaling regional and climate model output to understand changes in precipitation under climate change. She is currently interested in investigating how climate change is modifying regional weather and what impact this may have on renewable energy sources.