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This year's volatile hurricane season has kept one Old Dominion University faculty member quite busy. Robert Tuleya, an adjunct professor in ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, has been quoted by news agencies in more than 17 articles since Sept. 3.

Tuleya has been featured in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Contra Costa Times, Star Telegram, Florida Today, Strait Times, Fort Worth Star, Pioneer Press, Canton Repository, Trinidad and Tobago Press, Richmond Times-Dispatch and Virginian-Pilot.

After 31 years of federal service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), Tuleya retired and joined ODU in 2003. While at GFDL, he worked in various positions in the Hurricane Dynamics Group, initially as a research associate, and eventually became the group head.

He still works with NOAA, maintaining and updating the GFDL forecast system, which provides forecast guidance for the National Hurricane Center and the U.S. Navy. Tuleya also is working with a consortium of groups, including NOAA, the National Weather Service and several universities, to develop a new hurricane model called the Hurricane Weather and Research Forecast System. This system will incorporate the hurricane and climate models of the GFDL and add a research model. It is scheduled to be functional in 2008.

The model will use research from several universities to help forecasters more accurately make predictions. Much of Tuleya's own research has shown that the intensity of storms is increasing, both in their wind speed and amount of rain. He recently published a paper in the Journal of Climate describing his findings.

Tuleya first published papers in the 1970s, mainly in the area of theoretical work, while developing the GFDL model. The model became so realistic that NOAA funded its operation in 1995. Since Tuleya and others started tracking and modeling storms in the '70s, accuracy has improved from 400 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles.

This article was posted on: October 4, 2004

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