NSSL Hot Item

Bob Davies-Jones, NSSL tornado expert to retire

NSSL is taking this opportunity to celebrate the career of Bob Davies-Jones, who will be retiring on January 3, 2009. Davies-Jones has had an impactful 38-year career with the lab, sharing his tornado expertise with the world.

Davies-Jones emigrated to the U.S. from England in 1964, started his career with NSSL in 1970, and obtained U.S. citizenship in 1983. He is a world-renowned expert on tornadogenesis, tornado flows, thunderstorm updrafts, short-term mesocyclone prediction, estimation of maximum tornado parameters, and vorticity dynamics of larger-scale meteorological flows. Davies-Jones’ has contributed to the profession as a meteorological journal editor, co-chair of conferences, student advisor, expert consultant, Principal Investigator on projects, and has served on scientific committees. He has the rare ability to simplify research results communicated in newspaper interviews, magazines, encyclopedias, popular articles, and on TV.

Davies-Jones’ colleagues have this to say:

“He came in as a gifted theoretician and continued to make important contributions to our understanding of tornadogenesis, in particular, from a theoretical perspective. On top of that, he became really good at the technical aspect of collecting data in field projects. DJ wasn't a storm chaser who became theoretically gifted; he was a gifted theoretician who became a storm chaser to collect data to help him and others in their theoretical work. “(Harold Brooks)

“Bob has been an important member of the Lab in many ways (theoretician, storm intercept leader, solid citizen, and friend to student and scientist alike) for many years. I greatly respect Bob for his scientific/mathematical understanding and his ability to communicate complicated dynamic/mathematical concepts to those with lesser understanding. Bob's expenditure of effort, his calm-amid-chaos leadership, and his patience and understanding have been huge components in NSSL's Storm Intercept Program over the many years. The level of respect he enjoys within the severe storm community has long been a part of NSSL's position as leader in scientific research.” (Don Burgess)

“I am especially impressed that, as a theoretician, Bob wants to find out about the phenomena that he models. Consequently, he has taken a very active role in storm intercept field programs so he can see first-hand how nature behaves. He will be missed because he is NSSL's primary resource person for explaining the theoretical underpinnings of severe storm phenomena, especially tornadoes.” (Rodger Brown).

“Bob is a complete scientist in that he contributes to the advancement of science in multiple ways. He develops new theory, enhances understanding through observations he participates in collecting, and provides the scientific underpinning for applications that improve operational meteorology. His article on tornadoes in Scientific American was a masterpiece in helping the non- meteorologist understand the complexity of tornado genesis. We at NSSL are grateful for the 38 years he has spent among us.” (Jeff Kimpel, NSSL Director)

NSSL is grateful for Davies-Jones significant contributions to tornado science and wishes him the best in his retirement.