Approaching the Unapproachable: Scientific Tornado Chasing (or the truth behind the movie TWISTER)
Dr. Joseph Golden
Senior Research Scientist,
NOAA/CIRES-University of Colorado (retired)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
3:30pm - 4:45pm
Dr. Golden illustrates the facts and fiction behind the movie "TWISTER," which was largely based on his pioneering development of the original Tornado Intercept Project at NOAA's National Severe Storms Lab. He will also present some of the new technology advances used by modern tornado chasers and the inherent dangers involved, as well as safety tips for those contemplating tornado-chasing. Feedbacks from the tornado field projects with wind engineering research will also be described.
Joseph H. Golden, currently CEO, Golden Research and Consulting, Boulder, CO and retired Senior Research Scientist at CIRES/University of Colorado and NOAA-Earth System Research Laboratory is a renowned international expert on convective vortices: hurricanes, tornadoes and waterspouts. His early career began in Miami in the mid 1960's, as a Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center, and he also worked as a research meteorologist at the National Hurricane Research Laboratory. He participated actively in NOAA’s hurricane modification experiments during Project STORMFURY. Dr. Golden has flown research missions on NOAA aircraft into several hurricanes. He then pursued his research interest in convective vortices and severe storms (tornadoes and waterspouts) while at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK from 1971-75. He then accepted a promotion to Program Development Scientist at ERL headquarters in Boulder, CO and was Acting Director of the ERL Office of Programs in 1983. He moved to the National Weather Service, with another promotion, in 1984, as Chief, Sounding Systems Branch. He managed the entire NWS national rawinsonde and radar networks. Following an NWS reorganization in 1986, he became Chief, Field Systems Branch of the NWS Office of Systems Operations. He played a significant role in the development and proposal-review phases of both the NEXRAD and AWIPS programs in NWS. Dr. Golden was asked by the Deputy Chief Scientist, Dr. William Hooke, to join that Office as Senior Meteorologist in 1989. In 1991, he was asked to assume the role of Director, NOAA Atmospheric Modification Program (AMP) in NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Dr. Golden managed the AMP Program with six States and the Navajo Nation until its termination by the Congress in l995. He moved to NOAA’s Forecast Systems Lab in January, 2000 as a Senior Meteorologist. Dr. Golden retired from NOAA in September, 2005, after 42.5 years of Federal service. Following his Federal retirement, Dr. Golden became a part-time Senior Research Scientist in the joint Institute, CIRES/CU-NOAA until April,2009. Dr. Golden was invited to deliver expert testimony before two U.S. Senate Subcommittees in Fall, 2005 on a new Bill to fund a Federal program in Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer. Dr. Golden was the outgoing Chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Planned & Inadvertent Weather Modification up to last Fall. Dr. Golden helped conceive and was one of the P.I.’s in the new Hurricane Aerosols and Microphysics Project, which was funded ($1M+) by the Dept. of Homeland Security for 2009-10. He has also co-authored 2 new hurricane research publications resulting from that project.