Severe thunderstorms have influenced and shaped the development of communities worldwide, and how these events respond to climatic variations remains an open question. The primary goal of my research program is to understand how severe thunderstorms respond to climate variability and, in doing so, improve our quantification of potential risk to both life and property from a present and future climate perspective. The fundamental step to address this goal is using synoptic scale environmental conditions to model the occurrence of severe thunderstorm phenomena such as hail, tornadoes and extreme rainfall. However, to develop these relationships, comprehending the inherent climatology of reported severe thunderstorms is crucial to understanding the present risk and variability.
Interactions between climate and severe thunderstorms, along with consequent risk to life and property in both the present and future climate are an emerging and important field. Research in this area is also necessary to improve our ability to forecast severe thunderstorms beyond a week, enabling government agencies and affected industries to mitigate the risks of severe thunderstorms in a changing and increasingly variable climate. There is also substantial insurer interest in worldwide severe thunderstorm climatologies for assessing their portfolio risks, and our group welcomes interest in collaborative opportunities.