David W. Reynolds
Special Recognition Award
The following is the text found on the Special Recognition Award presented to David W. Reynolds at the California Extreme Precipitation Symposium held at the University of California, Davis on June 26, 2012.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
David W. Reynolds
Presented by your friends and colleagues in appreciation and recognition of your contributions over 40 years to improving weather forecasting and operational hydrology. Your special ability to effectively bridge the research and operations worlds has advanced our understanding of the conditions producing extreme precipitation events in California and improved the vital early warning service to protect the public. You dedicated yourself to translating science into action by working to discover why events occur and creating reliable forecast tools to quantify what will happen, before it does.
You played a pivotal role in developing major field research projects in California related to heavy precipitation — starting with the Sierra Cooperative Pilot Project (1982-1994) then the CalJet and PacJet experiments (1997-2003) resulting in the Hydrometeorology Testbed (2004-2012). These efforts improved our understanding of the key role of atmospheric rivers in California and West Coast flooding. Your vision of the value of research findings on atmospheric rivers advanced forecasting and is revolutionizing West Coast storm prediction.
At the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, your contributions to improving quantitative precipitation forecasts earned you the respect of river forecasters and reservoir operators who, because of your work, now have more confidence in getting it right.
As Meteorologist-in-Charge at the San Francisco Bay Area Forecast Office, you trained the next generation of weather forecasters to anticipate what is going to happen and to understand the critical importance of providing more lead-time in warnings to emergency managers.
We recognize your commitment to the science of meteorology and the extensive body of scientific publications you authored and presented. You generously gave of your time by speaking four times at the Symposium. You taught while entertaining us, and thank you for that gift.
With sincere admiration and respect, it is our great pleasure to present you with this award.
California Extreme Precipitation Symposium
June 26, 2012
Dave retired in December 2011 after serving 32 years of federal service. His most recent position was as Meteorologist in Charge (MIC) of the National Weather Service (NWS) San Francisco Bay Area Forecast Office in Monterey. During his almost 10 year tenure as MIC, he played a key role in helping to focus NOAA's Hydrometeorology Testbed (HTM) on key forecasts problems impacting the West Coast. His experience with extreme precipitation helped guide the research into looking at the impact of the low level jet associated with land-falling Pacific winter storms.
This actually began when Dave was the Science and Operations Officer at the Monterey office, his entry into the NWS in 1994. He worked closely with NOAA scientists to develop the CALJET project conducted during the strong El Niño winter of 1997-98. As it turned out Dave was selected to be the Chief of Operations of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC), one of the eight centers of the National Centers of Environmental Prediction in Washington, DC in January of 1998. His assignment by the Director of the NWS to review the entire Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) process used by the NWS led HPC and the 13 NWS River Forecast Centers to revamp and manage this process in an effort to streamline and improve the skill of river forecasts. Subsequent verification has proven this.
Dave's experience in precipitation processes came from his tenure as Site Director of the largest winter-storms research project conducted in the Sierra Nevada called the Sierra Cooperative Pilot Project. This was part of the US Bureau of Reclamation's Project Skywater. From 1982 until 1988 his research focused on the key processes driving orographic precipitation and how it could be increased through seeding. He took this knowledge and developed a seeding trial for the California Department of Water Resources from 1988-1994. This winter snowpack enhancement project was the first to use liquid propane as the seeding agent given the warm nature of Sierra Nevada winter mountain clouds. This technique is now used operationally in Utah and is being evaluated for use in Europe and Australia.
Prior to joining the Bureau of Reclamation, Dave worked with NOAA's PROFS program from 1980-1982 and was key in developing the prototype workstation that became the Advanced Weather Information Processing System or AWIPS now used in all NWS forecast offices. From 1973 until 1980 Dave was a Research Associate and then a Research Professor at Colorado State University where he focused on the use of digital satellite data to improve mesoscaleweather forecasting.
Awards & Recognition
- 2010: named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
- 2009: received the AMS Editors Award from the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology for his "excellent, fair, and thorough reviews of papers in the fields of water resources and weather modification"
- 2006: NOAA Bronze Medal as Meteorologist in Charge of San Francisco Bay Area Forecast Office for outstanding forecast during major flooding of New Year's 2005
- 2002: NWS Regional Cline Award — Exceptional Management and Leadership as Chief of Operations of Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
- 2001: NOAA Bronze Medal for contributions in the restructuring of the National Weather Service's QPF process
- 2000: Department of Commerce Gold Medal — the Department's highest honorary award — while Chief of Operations at the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center for excellent rainfall forecasts associated with Hurricane Floyd
- 1997: NOAA Administrator Award for modernizing the forecast systems for the San Francisco Bay Area Forecast Office
- 1/68-6/71: University of California, Davis; Davis, CA
(Degree: B.S. in Atmospheric Science)
- 1/72-6/73: Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO
(Degree: M.S. in Atmospheric Science)
- 9/82-6/83: Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO
(Ph.D — No degree)