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WKU meteorology professor’s research featured in Brazilian media report

A recent peer-reviewed article in the International Journal of Climatology by WKU Assistant Professor of Meteorology Joshua Durkee has been featured in the Brazilian press.

His article titled “A climatology of warm-season mesoscale convective complexes in subtropical South America” was referenced by a prominent newspaper in Porto Alegre, Brazil, called “Zero Hora,” which cited Dr. Durkee’s research as part of its explanation of recent weather events (ZeroHora_p31_20091206-1).

Over the past month, portions of subtropical South America have been getting inundated by large, long-lived thunderstorm systems known as mesoscale convective systems/complexes. This is typical for this time of year but numerous studies have shown that positive ENSO phases (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) can indirectly enhance thunderstorm activity over this part of the world (more so than many other regions).  The storms that are pounding southern Brazil are capable of producing a variety of severe weather, including floods.   Dr. Durkee’s research focuses primarily on the climatology and rainfall production of these types of weather systems.

“Research conducted by the department’s meteorologists is especially relevant as the Copenhagen climate summit convenes this week amid debate over the real extent of global climate change,” noted Department of Geography and Geology Head David Keeling. “Whether at the local, regional or global scales, research that provides a greater understanding of climate change can only help in the policy-making process.”

Students in WKU’s new B.S. Meteorology program benefit directly from the type of research conducted by Dr. Durkee and his colleagues in the department.  Moreover, helping people in distant lands to understand the broader implications of their local circumstances is a wonderful example of WKU’s international reach.

Contact: Josh Durkee, (270) 745-8777.

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