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RAMMB: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch CIRA: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere
Ray Zehr

Dr. Ray Zehr began his career as a meteorologist at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois.  He was hired as a Student Trainee in the National Weather Service at Peoria, Illinois, in 1971.  After receiving a B.S. degree in Meteorology, he worked as a Meteorologist Intern at the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa.  In 1974, he went to Fort Collins, Colorado and completed at M.S. degree in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, with Dr. William Gray's project working on tropical cyclogenesis.  During 1976-1977, Ray was employed as a private forecaster near Chicago and at NWS in Louisville, KY.  During 1977-1980, he worked at NWS Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, doing research on rainfall statistics with the Office of Hydrology.

Ray was one of the five original members of the NESDIS RAMM (Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology) Branch in Fort Collins, CO. After several years working on mesoscale analysis and severe thunderstorms, he returned to his primary interest in tropical cyclone research. In those days, the mid 80's, he worked closely with Vern Dvorak and Vince Oliver at NESDIS on the evaluation and testing of Objective IR hurricane intensity estimates, and also with Mike Mogil as one of the NESDIS instructors for U.S. Navy training courses. Most of Ray's work has been in applied research, technique development and training with satellite applications for tropical cyclone forecasting. He completed a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in 1992, with a dissertation on tropical cyclone formation in the western North Pacific. He has participated in WMO's International Workshops in Philippines, Mexico, and China, as well as cooperative research projects and training with colleagues in India, Taiwan, and Australia.

Currently, Ray is pursuing studies on various hurricane related research areas, such as vertical wind shear influences on intensity change, and applications of the new satellite data sets to tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting. In 1997, Ray initiated the RAMM Tropical Cyclone IR image archive, which now contains over 90,000 images, and has been used for a variety of research projects.

Publications

Refereed Publications

Knaff, J.A. and R.M. Zehr, 2008:  Reply. Weather and Forecasting, 23:4, 762-770.

Knaff, J.A., and R.M. Zehr, 2007: Reexamination of Tropical Cyclone Pressure Wind Relationships. Wea Forecasting, 22:1, 71–88.

Zehr, R.M., and J.A. Knaff, 2007:  Atlantic major hurricanes, 1995-2005 – Characteristics based on best track, aircraft, and IR images.  J. of Climate, 20, 5865-5888.

Zehr, R.M., 2003: Environmental vertical wind shear with Hurricane Bertha (1996). Wea. Forecasting, 18:2, 345-356.

Kidder, S.Q., M.D. Goldberg, R.M. Zehr, M. DeMaria, J.F.W. Purdom, C.S. Velden, N.C. Grody, and S.J. Kusselson, 2000: Satellite Analysis of Tropical Cyclones Using the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81:6, 1241-1260.

Knaff, J.A., R.M. Zehr, M.D. Goldberg, and S.Q. Kidder, 2000: An example of temperature structure differences in two cyclone systems derived from the Advance Microwave Sounder Unit. Wea. Forecasting, 15:4, 476-483.

Velden, C.S., T.L. Olander, and R.M. Zehr, 1998: Development of an objective scheme to estimate tropical cyclone intensity from digital geostationary satellite infrared imagery. Wea. Forecasting, March, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Boston, MA, 172-186.

Zehr, R.M., J.F.W. Purdom, J.F. Weaver, and R.N. Green, 1988: Use of VAS data to diagnose the mesoscale environment of convective storms. Wea. Forecasting, 3:1, 33-49.

Johnson, R.H., G.S. Young, J.J. Toth, and R.M. Zehr, 1984: Mesoscale weather effects of variable snow cover over northeast Colorado. Mon. Wea. Rev., 112:6, 1141-1152.

McBride, J.L., and R.M. Zehr, 1981: Observational analysis of tropical cyclone formation. Part II: Comparison of non-developing versus development systems. J. of Atmos. Sci., 38:6, 1132-1151.

Non Refereed and Informal Publications

Zehr, R.M., 2006:  Analysis of High Resolution Infrared Images of Hurricanes from Polar Satellites as a Proxy for GOES-R. 4th GOES-R Users' Conference.  1-3 May, Broomfield, CO.

Zehr, R.M., 2006:  Atlantic Tropical Cyclogenesis - Satellite Analysis. AMS 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology.  24-28 April, Monterey, CA.

DeMaria, M., J.A. Knaff, J. Demuth, R.M. Zehr, and J.F. Dostalek, 2005:  CIRA contributions to the Joint Hurricane Testbed. CIRA Magazine, Spring, 5-7.

DeMaria, M., J.A. Knaff, K.J. Mueller, and R.M. Zehr, 2005:  Improvements in Deterministic and Probabilistic Tropical Cyclone Wind Predictions: A Joint Hurricane Testbed Project Update.  59th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 7-11 March, Jacksonville, FL.

Knaff, J.A., M. DeMaria R.M. Zehr, and K.J. Mueller, 2005:  Development of a Multi-platform Satellite Tropical Cyclone Wind Analysis System. 59th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 7-11 March, Jacksonville, FL.

Mueller, K.J., R.M. Zehr, M. DeMaria, and J.A. Knaff, 2005:  Objective Estimation of Tropical Cyclone Wind Structure From Infrared Satellite Data. 59th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 7-11 March, Jacksonville, FL.

Zehr, R.M., M. DeMaria, J.A. Knaff, and K.J. Mueller, 2005: NOAA's Next-Generation Polar and Geostationary Satellites Hurricane Applications. 59th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 7-11 March, Jacksonville, FL.

Hillger, D.W., M. DeMaria, and R.M. Zehr, 2004:  Advance Mesoscale Product Development for GOES-R Using Operational and Experimental Satellite Observations.   SPIE Annual Meeting, Paper 5549-12, Vol. 5549, 2-6 August, Denver, CO.

Zehr, R.M., 2004: Atlantic Intense Hurricanes, 1995-2003 - Characteristics Based on Best Track, Aircraft, and IR Images. AMS 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. 3-7 May, Miami, FL.

Zehr, R.M., 2004: The Objective Dvorak Technique - Historical Perspective. Special Session on the Dvorak Technique: A 30-year test of tie. AMS 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 3-7 May, 2004, Miami, FL.

Knaff, J.A., N. Wang, R.M. Zehr, M. DeMaria, J.S. Griffin, and F.D. Marks, 2003: A demonstration of real-time transmission and display of GOES imagery aboard the NOAA P-3 aircraft during the 2002 hurricane season. 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 10-14 February, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., CD-ROM, JP1.5.

Zehr, R.M., 2003: Tropical cyclone surface wind analysis using satellite data- Dvorak, microwave, scatterometer, and cloud motion winds. 57th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 10-14 March, Miami, FL.

DeMaria, M., R.M. Zehr, J.P. Kossin, and J.A. Knaff, 2002: The Use of GOES Imagery in Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction, 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 29 April-3 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 120-121.

Motta, B.C., D. Bikos, B. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, B. Grant, J. LaDue, N. Junker, K. Schrab, D. Baumgardt, R. Grumm, P. Wolf, J. Weaver, R. Zehr, and A. Mostek, 2002: VISIT Integrated Sensor Training: Using AWIPS Satellite Products and Capabilities. AWIPS Symposium at the AMS Annual Meeting, January 13-17,Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., J11-J16.

Schubert, W.H., B.D. McNoldy, J. Vigh, S.R. Fulton, and R.M. Zehr, 2002: A Case Study of Tropical Cyclone Merger. 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 29 April-3 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

Zehr, R.M., 2002: Vertical Wind Shear Characteristics with Atlantic Hurricanes During 2001. 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 29 April-3 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B.A. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, J.F. Weaver, R.M. Zehr, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, R. Grumm, D. Baumgardt, S. Jascourt, and B.B. Bua, 2001: Recent Training and Results from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 332-335.

Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B.A. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, J.F. Weaver, and R.M. Zehr, 2001: Recent training and results from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 17th International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS), 14-19 January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 418-421.

Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B.A. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, J.F. Weaver, and R.M. Zehr, 2001: Recent training and results from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 10th Symposium on Education, 14-19 January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 40-43.

Zehr, R.M., 2001: Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis Using Satellite Sensors. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 296-299.

DeMaria, M., B.H. Connell, J.A. Knaff, and R.M. Zehr, 2000: Improvements in tropical cyclone genesis and intensity forecasts using GOES imager and sounder data. 54th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 14-17 February, Houston, TX, NOAA/OFCM, A98-A103.

DeMaria, M., R.M. Zehr, C.S. Velden, and F.M. Horsfall, 2000: Further improvements to the statistical hurricane intensity prediction scheme using GOES imagery. 24th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. 29 May - 2 June, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 240-241.

Kidder, S.Q., M.D. Goldberg, R.M. Zehr, M. DeMaria, J.F.W. Purdom, C.S. Velden, N.C. Grody, and S.J. Kusselson, 2000: Tropical Cyclone Analysis using AMSU Data, 10th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography. 14-18 January, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 185-188.

Motta, B.C., M. DeMaria, and R.M. Zehr, 2000: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team scientists assess impact and service for significant weather events. CIRA 2000 (CIRA Newsletter), 13, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Fort Collins CO, 11.

Zehr, R.M., 2000: Tropical cyclone research using large infrared image data sets. 24th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. 29 May - 2 June, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 486-487.

Knaff, J.A., and R.M. Zehr, 1999: Convective asymmetries in mature tropical cyclones associated with motion and vertical wind shear. 23rd AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. January 11-15, Dallas, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 464-467.

Zehr, R.M., 1999: Improving the quantitative assessment of vertical wind shear on tropical cyclone intensity change. 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Dallas, TX, 10-15 January, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 574-577.

Zehr, R.M., 1998: Use of satellite data to assess vertical wind shear forcing on hurricane intensity change. 16th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and Symposium on the Research Foci of the U.S. Weather Research Program, 11-16 January , Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 529-531.

Zehr, R.M., 1998: Vertical wind shear and tropical cyclone intensity. Symposium on Tropical Cyclone Intensity Change, 11-16 January, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 124-128.

Zehr, R.M., 1997: Satellite Analysis of Tropical Cyclones -- More Quantitative and More Thorough Techniques. 22nd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. 19- 23 May, Fort Collins, CO, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 2 pp.

Zehr, R.M., 1996: The eastern Pacific monsoon trough in visible satellite imagery. 8th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 28 January-2 February, 1996, Atlanta, GA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 391-394.

Zehr, R.M., 1995: Improving Geostationary Satellite Applications for Tropical Cyclone Forecasting. 21st Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, April 24-28, 1995, Miami, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 628-630.

Zehr, R.M., and R.S. Phillips, 1994: Expert system for tropical cyclone intensity forecasts. Proceedings from the Seventh Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 6-10 June 1994, Monterey, CA, 71-74.

Zehr, R.M., 1993: Recognition of mesoscale vortex initiation as stage one of tropical cyclogenesis. 20th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 10-14 May San Antonio, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Boston, MA, 405-408.

Zehr, R.M., 1992: Tropical cyclogenesis in the Western North Pacific. NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 61, U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, 181 pp.

Zehr, R.M., 1992: Tropical cyclogenesis in the Western North Pacific. PhD. Dissertation. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Zehr, R.M., 1991: Observational investigation of tropical cyclogenesis in the western north Pacific. Preprints, 19th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 6-10 May, Miami, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 235-240.

Lubich, D.A., and R.M. Zehr, 1989: Quantitative satellite analyses of four tropical cyclones during AMEX/EMEX. Preprints, 4th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 16-19 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 63-66.

Zehr, R.M., 1989: Improving objective satellite estimates of tropical cyclone intensity. 18th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 16-19 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., J25-J28.

Zehr, R.M., 1989: Tropical cyclone genesis in the northwest pacific. 18th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 16-19 May, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 143-144.

Gray, S.M., R.M. Zehr, J.P. Kossin, and C. Weatherford, 1988: Tropical cyclone structure and intensity change as related to digital GMS satellite observed penetrative convection. Presented at International Conference on Tropical Meteorology, 4-8 July, Brisbane, Australia, co-sponsored by the Aust. Meteor. Soc., Amer. Meteor. Soc. and Chin. Meteor. Soc., p. 21.

Zehr, R.M., 1988: Investigation of tropical cyclone genesis using a combination of digital GMS satellite and aircraft reconnaissance data. International Conference on Tropical Meteorology, 4-8 July, Brisbane, Australia, co-sponsored by Aust. Meteor. and Oc. Soc., Amer. Meteor. Soc. and Chin. Meteor. Soc., p. 93.

Lubich, D.A., and R.M. Zehr, 1988: The use of polar orbiter data in tropical weather system analysis. Preprints, 3rd Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 1-5 February, Anaheim, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 209-214.

Zehr, R.M., 1988: Satellite diagnosis of tropical cyclones. 3rd Conf. on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 1-5 February, Anaheim, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 241-246.

Zehr, R.M., 1987: The diurnal variation of deep convective clouds and cirrus with tropical cyclones. 17th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 7-10 April, Miami, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 276-279.

Zehr, R.M., 1986: Analysis of low level water vapor fields. 11th Conference on Weather Forecasting and Analysis, 17-20 June, Kansas City, MO, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 330-334.

Zehr, R.M., 1986: Analysis of mesoscale air masses with VAS retrievals. 2nd Conference on Satellite Meteorology/Remote Sensing and Applications, 13-16 May, Williamsburg, VA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 347-352.

Purdom, J.F.W., R.N. Green, J.F. Weaver, R.M. Zehr, and D.A. Lubich, 1985: Satellite data support to the pre-storm operations center, May-June 1985. ISSN 0737-5352-3, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 75 pp.

Weaver, J.F., R.M. Zehr, and J.F.W. Purdom, 1985: Mesoscale analysis of low-level temperature and water vapor distribution based on surface and satellite observations. Preprints, 14th Conference on Severe Local Storms, 29 October-1 November, Indianapolis, IN, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 25-28.

Gray, S.M., R.M. Zehr, J.P. Kossin, and C. Weatherford, 1984: Some mesoscale weather effects and the very-short-range forecasting impact of variable snow cover. Nowcasting II. Second International Symposium on Nowcasting, 3-7 September, Norrkoping, Sweden, European Space Agency, 69-74.

Zehr, R.M., and R.N. Green, 1984: Mesoscale applications of VAS imagery. Conference on Satellite/Remote Sensing and Applications, 25-29 June, Clearwater Beach, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94-98.

Zehr, R.M., and V.A. Myers, 1984: Depth-area ratios in the semi-arid southwest United States. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS HYDRO-40, Silver Spring, MD, 45 pp.

Zehr, R.M., l983: Case studies of three severe thunderstorm events in eastern Colorado. l3th Conference on Severe Local Storms, 17-20 October, Tulsa, OK, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 146-149.

Zehr, R.M., l982: Thunderstorm motion analyses. 9th Conference on Weather Forecasting and Analysis, 28 June - 1 July, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 455-458.

Zehr, R.M., and J.F.W. Purdom, l982: Examples of a wide variety of thunderstorm propagation mechanisms. l2th Conference on Severe Local Storms, 11-15 January, San Antonio, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 499-502.

Zehr, R.M., 1981: Combining satellite, radar, and conventional data to observe mesoscale features pertinent to thunderstorm development. International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Washington, DC.

Presentations

Zehr, R.M., M. DeMaria, J.A. Knaff, K. Mueller, K. Bessho, 2003: Tropical cyclone surface wind analysis using satellite data: Dvorak, Microwave, Scatterometer, and Cloud Motion Winds. 57th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 10-15 March, Miami, FL.

DeMaria, M., R.M. Zehr, C.S. Velden, J.A. Knaff, J.L. Demuth, and K.F. Brueske, 2002: An Update on Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) Projects at CIRA and CIMSS, 56th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 11-15 March, New Orleans.

Zehr, R.M., 2001: Characteristics of 23 Atlantic Intense Hurricanes --1995-2000-- Satellite and Aircraft Observations. 55th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 5-9 March, Orlando, FL.

DeMaria, M., B.H. Connell, J.A. Knaff, and R.M. Zehr, 2000: Improvements in tropical cyclone genesis and intensity forecasts using GOES imager and sounder data. 54th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 14-17 February, Houston, TX.

DeMaria, M., D.H. Hillger, R.M. Zehr, and B.H. Connell, 1999: Incorporation of GOES data into an Atlantic tropical cyclone formation parameter. 53rd Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 8-12 February, Biloxi, MS.

Zehr, R.M., M. DeMaria, F. M. Horsfall, and J.A. Knaff, 1999: Observational tropical cyclone data archive and research. 53rd Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 8-12 February, Biloxi, MS.

Zehr, R.M., 1998: Vertical wind shear analysis with hurricanes. 52nd Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 27-30 January, Clearwater Beach, FL.

Zehr, R.M., 1994. Intensity prediction. 48th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, Miami, FL, 15-18 February, 1994.

Zehr, R.M., 1990: Observing and forecasting tropical cyclone structure from satellite imagery. 44th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 9-11 January, Homestead, AFB, FL.

Zehr, R.M., 1989: Improving objective satellite estimates of tropical cyclone intensity. 43rd Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, January, Homestead AFB, FL, A-56-A-63.

E-mail: Ray.Zehr@noaa.gov