Fernando Caracena, Ph.D.
4412 Pali Way
Boulder, Colorado 80301
(303) 495 2981
E-mail address <email@example.com>
Currently, I am
self employed developing ocean drift software.
Retired from Forecast Systems Laboratory in September 2006.
Environmental Research Laboratories
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Department of Commerce
Boulder, Colorado 80303
B.S., 1958, Physics, Texas Western College (University of Texas at El Paso)
M.A., 1966, Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D., 1968, Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Physicist, Environmental Research Laboratories, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1976-sept. 2006.
Postdoctoral fellowship, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Advanced Studies Program, 1975-1976 (on leave from MSC).
Assistant Professor of Physics, Metropolitan State College, 1969-1976
Physicist, NOAA/ERL/WPL, Summer fellowship, 1975
Postdoctoral fellowship, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Advanced Studies Program, Summer, 1974
Postdoctoral fellowship, Cleveland State University, Summer 1969
Instructor, Metropolitan State College (MSC), 1968
Postdoctoral fellowship, Summer Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Summer 1967.
Postdoctoral fellowship, Case Western Reserve University, 1966-1967.
Attended Grad school at Case Western Reserve University,1961-1966.
White Sands Missile Range, Physicist, 1958-1961, (interrupted by
military service, 1959-1961).
My graduate studies were in theoretical physics, after which, I taught a physics course for architects at Case Western Reserve University for one year as part of a post doctoral appointment. From Cleveland, Ohio I went to Boulder, Colorado to attend the Summer Institute for Theoretical Physics. I stayed in Colorado and taught physics at Metropolitan State College in Denver for ten years. Also, I collaborated with a friend (also a physicist) on a consulting project for Gates Rubber, in which we used radio frequency sputtering to deposit thin polymer films from monomer gases. During my final years at Metropolitan State College, I worked the Summer at the National Center for Atmospheric research (NCAR), and another, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where I subsequently went to work full-time after completing a Fall-Winter appointment to NCAR.
Initially at NOAA, I worked with two groups: with P.M. Kuhn on infrared radiometry, and with C. F. Chappell’s Mesometeorology Group. The Mesometeorology Group won a Unit Citation from NOAA for our work on the Big Thompson Flash Flood, and a paper that co-authored with P.M. Kuhn, on Clear Air Turbulence (CAT), won a Distinguished Authorship Award from NOAA. I published in both infrared detection of CAT and flash floods, and I developed another area of interest in air safety (practically as a hobby) becoming a recognized expert in wind shear. For my work on microbursts, I received a certificate of appreciation form the Airline Pilots Association, and a NOAA Administrator’s Award.
I have had an on-going interest in objective analysis. Over the last five years I have concentrated on techniques for visualizing meteorological fields, and computational physics, applying these results to the analysis of synoptic scale weather patterns, both for weather and climate diagnostics. I have received outside funding for two weather-related projects: from the JAWS project, and from White Sands Missile Range.
Currently, I work on both Sun and Hewlet Packard Unix workstations am using diagnostic and visualization techniques that I have developed in the Interactive Data Language (IDL), to diagnose quasigeostrophic vertical velocity using output from weather prediction models, and directly from analyses of observations. I am also proficient in other languages such as FORTRAN.
1990 - Co-chairman Aviation Group, NOAA Technical Exchange Conf.
1981 - Chairman, Operational procedures relative to severe weather
committee, 5th Annual Workshop on Meteorological and
Environmental Inputs to Aviation Systems, University of Tennessee
1974 - Member of the faculty senate Metropolitan State College.
1972 - Chairman of the Metropolitan State College Physics Department.
• New approaches to computer-genreated objective analysis.
• Visualization of meteorological fields
• Quantitative diagnostics and case studies.
• Mesoscale meteorology - microbursts, severe storms, flash floods.
• Regional and national climatologies.
As a physicist in the Mesoscale Applications Branch of FSL I seek to understand mesoscale and synoptic-scale atmospheric processes: diagnosing the state of the atmosphere based on diverse observations and results from numerical prognostic models. To this end, I develop new objective analysis and assimilation techniques, and apply these to the analysis of mesoscale, synoptic weather, and climatological data. I supply technical leadership to junior scientists and independently plan and conduct both basic and applied research on complex weather phenomena. I study and develop novel computer algorithms and objective analysis schemes for analyzing meteorological data, and generate both conceptual and diagnostic models for radiant, convective, and dynamic processes in the atmosphere. I lead diagnostic studies of a variety of weather situations, such as those relating to wind shear, turbulence, tornadoes, flash floods and severe thunderstorms, and play an important role in advancing the understanding of their causes in terms of synoptic and mesoscale atmospheric processes.
Professional society memberships
American Physical Society, 1958-1991
American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1958-1986
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, 1961-present
American Meteorological Society , 1990 - present
Achievements and Honors:
1984 - NOAA Administrator’s Award for contributions to research on
microbursts and aircraft safety.
1982 - Selected for inclusion in American Men and Women of Science,
15th Ed., Jaques Cottell Press (Xerox) and Whos Who In the West.
1980 - Certificate of recognition for efforts on behalf of the University of
Tennessee Space Institute.
1979 - Certificate of appreciation from Airline Pilots Association for “significant contributions to air safety by providing better understanding
of wind shear phenomenon through a concise and detailed (weather) analysis
(of) the takeoff accident of Continental Airlines B-727 at Denver, Colorado on August 7, 1975.”
1979 - Distinguished Authorship award for paper - P.M. Kuhn, F.
Caracena, and C.M. Gillespie: Clear air turbulence: Detection by Infrared
Observations of Water Vapor. Science, 196, 1099.
19. Caracena F., , S.L. Barnes, and A. Marroquin, 1998: A Study of Gravity Waves Generated by Convective Systems in Eta Model Forecasts. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Springer-Verlag, [in press, Vol. 68, 1-2].
18. Barnes, S. L., F. Caracena, and A. Marroquin, 1996: Extracting synoptic-scale diagnostic information from mesoscale models: the Eta model. gravity waves, and quasigeostrophic diagnostics. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 519-528.
17. Augustine, J. A., and F. Caracena, 1992: Lower-Tropospheric precursors of nocturnal MCS development over the central United States. Weather and Forecasting, 9, 116-135.
16. Caracena, F., R. L. Holle, and C. A. Doswell, III, 1989: Microbursts: A Handbook for Visual Identification. NOAA report, S/N 003-017-00535-6
(Sup. Doc., Govt. Printing office, Washington, D.C. 20402-9325) 35pp.
15. Caracena, F. and J.A. Flueck, 1988: Classifying and Forecasting microburst activity in the Denver, Colorado, area. J. of Aircraft. 25, no. 6,525-530.
14. Caracena, F. 1987: Analytic approximation of discrete field samples with weighted sums and the gridless computation of derivatives. J. Atmos. Sci., 44, 3753-3768.
13. Caracena, F. and M.W. Maier, 1987: Analysis of a microburst in the FACE meteorological mesonetwork in central Florida. Mon. Wea. Rev., 115, 969-985.
12. Caracena, F., R. Ortiz, and J.A. Augustine, 1986: The Crash of Delta Flight 191 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on 2 August 1985: Multiscale analysis of weather conditions. NOAA Tech. Report ERL-430-ESG-2, 33pp.
11. Caracena, F. and J.M. Fritsch, 1983: Focusing mechanisms in the Texas Hill Country Flash Flood of 1978. Mon. Wea. Rev., 111, 2319-2332.
10. Caracena, F., R.A. Maddox, L.R. Hoxit, and C.F. Chappell, 1979: Mesoanalysis of the Big Thompson storm. Mon. Wea. Rev., 107, 1-117.
9. Doswell, C.A. III and F. Caracena, 1988: Derivative estimation from marginally-sampled vector point functions. J. Atmos. Sci., 45, 242-253.
8. Szoke, E.J., M.L. Weissman, J.M. Brown, F. Caracena and T.W. Schlatter, 1984: A sub-synoptic analysis of the Denver tornadoes of 3 June 1981. Mon. Wea. Rev. , 112, 790-808.
7. Kuhn, P.M., R.L. Kurkowski, and F. Caracena, 1983: Airborne operation of an infrared low-level windshear prediction system. J. of Aircraft, 20, 170-173.
6. Stearns, L.P., P.M. Kuhn, R.L. Kurkowski, and F. Caracena, 1981: Clear air turbulence: An airborne alert system. Science 213, 1007-1008.
5. Fujita, T.T. and F. Caracena, 1978: Letter for editor - reply to McCan's comments regarding Fujita and Caracena (1977) paper to Bulletin of A.M.S. Bulletin of the A.M.S. 59 1979.
4. Maddox, R.A., L.R. Hoxit, C.F. Chappell and F. Caracena, 1978: Comparison of meteorological aspects of the Big Thompson and Rapid City flash f floods. Mon. Wea. Rev., 106, 376-389.
3. The Storm and Flood of July 31- August 1, 1976 in the Big Thompson River
and Cache la Poudre River Basins, Larimer and Weld Counties, Colorado.
United States Geological Survey Professional Paper, 1978.
Chapter A. - Meteorology of the storm and hydrology of the flood of July 31 - August 1, 1976, in the Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre river basins, Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado by
G.F. McCain, USGS
L.R. Hoxit, NOAA/ERL
R.A. Maddox, NOAA/ERL
C.F Chappell, NOAA/ERL
F. Caracena. NOAA/ERL
Chapter B. - Geologic and geomorphic effects of the storms and flood of July 31 - August 1, 1976, in the Big Thompson canyon area, Larimer county, Colorado, by
R.R. Shroba, USGS
P.W. Schmidt, USGS
E.J. Crosby, USGS
W.R. Hanson, USGS
with a section on damage caused by geologic processes during the flood producing storm, byJ.M. Soule, Colorado Geological Survey.
2. Kuhn, P.M., F. Caracena and C.M. Gillespie, Jr., 1977: Clear air turbulence: detection by infrared observations of water vapor. Science, 196, 1099.
1. Fujita, T.T. and F. Caracena, 1977: An analysis of three weather-related aircraft accidents. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 58, 1164-1181.
4. Caracena, F. 1998: Quasi-Geostrophic Analysis of Large-Scale Atmospheric Conditions Associated with the Fort Collins Flood. FSL Forum, March 1998. Available on the Internet at <http://www.fsl.noaa.gov/~vondaust/f398/>.
3. Caracena, F. and A. Marroquin, 1997: A Look at Clear Air Turbulence and Baroclinic Processes FSL Forum, June 1977 issue. Available in the Internet at <http://www.fsl.noaa.gov/~vondaust/f697/f697.html>.
2. Caracena, F., 1995: Article on Microbursts in the Weather Calendar.
1. Caracena, F., R. L. Holle, and C. A. Doswell, III, 1991: Microbursts: A Spotters’ Guide. NOAA Poster. (Sup. Doc., Govt. Printing office, Washington, D.C. 20402-9325) 35pp.
33. Caracena, F., Feb. 1998: Using the Slow Equation Set in the Analysis of Meteorological Data and as a Dynamical Filter for Removing Gravity Wave Noise from the Output of Numerical Prognostic Models. Proceedings of the Asemblea Hispano-Portuguese de Geofisica y Geodesia, Aguadulce, Almería, España.
32. Caracena, F. 1992: The use of analytic approximations in providing meteorological data for artillery. Battlefield Atmospherics Conference,
El Paso, TX. 1- 3 Dec. 1992.
31. Caracena, F. and A. Marroquin, 1990: The use of a gridless analysis scheme in complex diagnostic calculations. International Symposium on Assimulation of Observations in Meteorology and Oceanography. WMO. Clermont-Ferrand, France.
30. Caracena, F., 1989: Low-pass filter response characteristics of analytic approximations by weighted sums for single pass, multipass, and optimal schemes. Preprints, 11th Conf. on Probability and Statistics, 20-
25. Amer. Meteor. Soc, Boston, Mass.
29. Caracena, F., 1988: The Microburst: A Challenge to aviation safety in the 1980s. Airline Pilot, 57, no. 5, 17-23.
28. Caracena, F. 1987: The microburst as an aviation hazard. Bull. World Meteor.
Org., 36, 278-284.
27. Caracena, F. and J.A. Flueck, 1987: Forecasting and classifying microburst activity in the Denver area subjectively and objectively. Preprints, 25th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, paper AIAA-87-0443, Reno Nev., Jan. 12-
15, Amer. Inst. Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D.C., 9pp.
26. Caracena, F. and J.A. Flueck, 1987: The classification and prediction of small- scale windshear events in a dry environment. Paper AAS-86-404, Vol. 62, Adv. in Astronautical Sciences, Amer. Astronautical
Soc., 33rd Annual Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, Oct. 26-29, 1986.
25. Doswell, C.A. III, F. Caracena and M. Magnano, 1985: Temporal evolution of 700-500 mb lapse rate as a forecasting tool - a case study. Preprints, 14th conf. on Severe Local Storms, Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 29-Nov. 1, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Boston, 398-401.
24. Caracena, F., S.L. Barnes, and C.A. Doswell III, 1984: Weighting function parameters for objective interpolation of meteorological data. Preprints, 10th AMS conf. on Weather Forecasting and Analysis, Clearwater, FL, 109-116.
23. Caracena, F., R.A Maddox, J.F.W. Purdom, J.F. Weaver and R.W. Green, 1983:
Multiscale analysis of meteorological conditions affecting Pan American World Airways flight 759, NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL ESG-2, 45pp.
22. Caracena, F., 1982: Is the microburst a large vortex ring imbedded in a thunderstorm downdraft?
21. Brown, J.M., K.R. Knupp and F. Caracena, 1982: Destructive winds from shallow, high-based cumulonimbi. Preprints, 12th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, San Antonio, AMS, Boston.
20, Szoke, E.J, M.L. Weissman, T. Schlatter, F. Caracena and J.M. Brown, 1982: A subsynoptic analysis of the Denver tornado outbreak of 3 June 1981. Preprints, 12th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, San Antonio, AMS, Boston.
19. Caracena, F., J.M. Fritsch, D. Rodgers, and M. McGown, 1981: Focusing mechanisms in the Texas Hill Country flash flood. Preprints, 4th Conf. on Hydrometeorology. AMS, Reno, Nev., Oct. 7-9, 1981.
18. Kuhn, P.M., R.L. Kurkowski and F. Caracena, 1981: Airborne operation of an infrared low-level wind shear prediction system, 20th Aeorospace Sciences Conf., Orlando, FL.
17. Caracena, F., 1981: Summary Report: Operational procedures relative to severe weather committee, Proc. 5th Annual Workshop on Meteor. and Envir. Inputs to Aviation Syst. NASA Tech. Report CP-2192 Camp, D.W. and Water Frost, Editors.
16. Caracena, F., P.M.Kuhn and R. Kurkowski, 1981: Design and preliminary test of an IR-airborne LLWS remote sensing system. AIAA 19th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Jan. 1981, St. Louis, MO.
14. Caracena, F. and J.M. Fritsch, 1981: Analysis of the Hill Country and Big Country Flash Floods of Texas. NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL/OWRM-12.
13. Caracena, F., 1980: The microburst: A common factor in recent aircraft accidents. Contained in NASA Tech. Report, NASA CP-2139. Frost, W. and D. Camp, Editors. Proc. 4th Annual Workshop on Meteorological and Environmental Inputs to Aviation Systems, Mar. 25-27, 1980.
12. Caracena, F. and M. Maier, 1979: Analysis of a Microburst in the FACE meteorological mesonetwork. Preprints, 11th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, Kansas City, MO.
11. Caracena, F., 1978: A comparison of two downbursts of different mesoscales. Preprints. Conf. on Wea. Forecasting and Analysis and Aviation
Meteor., Oct. 1978. Silver Spring, MD.
10. Caracena, F. and P.M. Kuhn, 1978: Remote sensing thunderstorm outflow severity with an airborne IR sensor. Preprints, Conf. on Wea. Fcst. and Analysis and Aviation Meteor., Oct. 1978. Silver Spring, MD.
9. Kuhn, P.M., F. Caracena, I. Nolt and Radostitz, 1978: Infrared remote sensing and radiative transfer in wind shear detection. Preprints, 3rd Conf. on Atmos. Rad., June 1978, Davis, CA.
8. Caracena, F., R.A. Maddox, L.R. Hoxit and C.F. Chappell, 1978: Big Thompson - A different type of severe storm. Aerospace Sciences Review, No. 78-1, USAF Environmental Technical Applications Center, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., 43-51.
7. Caracena, F., 1977: Thermal characteristics of low-level wind shear. Abstract and talk, AGU Fall Meeting, Dec. 1977, San Francisco, CA.
6. Kuhn, P.M. and F. Caracena, 1977: Feasibility of airborne IR sensing of thunderstorm outflow induced wind shear. Abstract and talk, AGU Fall Meeting, Dec. 1977, San Francisco, CA.
5. Fujita, T.T. and F. Caracena, 1977: Common denominator of three weather- related aircraft accidents. Preprints, Proc. 10th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, Oct. 1977. Omaha, NE.
4. Caracena, F., R.A. Maddox, L.R. Hoxit and C.F. Chappell, 1977: Big Thompson - A different type of severe storm. Preprints, 10th Conf. on Severe Local Storms, Oct. 1977, Omaha, NE.
3. Maddox, R.A., L.R. Hoxit, C.F. Chappell and F. Caracena, 1977: Identifying meteorological potential for flash floods along the east-slopes of
the Rocky Mountains. Preprints, 10th Conf. on Severe local Storms, Oct. 1977, Omaha, NE.
2. Chappell, C.F., L.R. Hoxit, F. Caracena and R.A. Maddox, 1977: Identifying meteorological potential for flash floods in the East-slope canyons of
the Rocky Mountains. 57th Annual Meeting, AMS, Jan. 1977, Tucson, AZ.
1. Caracena, F., 1976: Weather Analysis. National Transportation Safety Board Exhibit No. 5E-1 of Stapleton accident, Washington, D.C., 12pp.
Caracena, F., Jan. 1977: Seminar on Wind shear. Air Safety Workshop, Keystone, CO.
Caracena, F., Dec. 1985: Synoptic analysis and forecasting microbursts. First Aviation Problems Seminar. Sponsored by So. Region NWS and FAA. San Antonio, TX.
Caracena, F., Oct 1985: Tetimony before National Transportation and Safety Board on DFW crash. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tex.
Caracena, F., Jan. 1986: Seminar on Microbursts. NASA/Ames. San Jose, CA.
Caracena, F., Jan. 1986: Seminar on Microbursts. Univ. Southern California, LosAngeles , CA.
Caracena, F., Feb. 1986: Wind shear and micrometeoprology. Air Safety Workshop. Keystone, CO.
Caracena, F., Apr. 1986: Talk on Microbursts. DC/KC-10 Filght Operations Seminar (McDonnell Douglas). Long Beach, CA.
Caracena, F., Jun. 1986: Talk on Convective Downbursts. Arizona Severe Weather Symposium. Phoenix, Ariz.
Caracena, F., Jul. 1986: Talk on Wind Shear. Airline Pilots Assoc. Air Safety Workshop. Washington D.C.
Caracena, F., Oct. 1986: Seminar on Wind Shear. 39 th Annual meeting of the National Business Aircraft owners Association. Anaheim, CA.
Caracena, F., Nov. 1986: Seminar on Microbursts. Sperry, Phoenix, Ariz.
Caracena, F., Jan. 1987: Seminar on Microbursts at Southern Region Workshop on Severe Weather. Jackson, Miss.
Caracena, F., Jan. 1987: Deposition on DFW crash for Justice Department at Dallas, Texas.
Caracena, F., Mar. 1987: Seminar on Microbursts. Severe storm Workshop for Radio and TV Weathercasters. Kansas City, MO.
Caracena, F., Nov. 1987: Deposition on DFW crash for Justice Department at Dallas, Texas.
Caracena, F., Nov. 1987: Seminar on Microbursts. Second Aviation Problems Seminar. San Antonio, Texas
Caracena, F., Mar. 1990: Using properly filtered Analytic approximations for quasi-geostrophic diagnostic calculations. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Caracena, F. Feb., 1990: New Methods in Objective Analysis. Short talk given at NOAA Technical Exchange Conference.
Caracena, F., May 1990: The Microburst threat to aviation. Arizona Emergency Services Assoc. Annual Meeting. Phoenix, Ariz.
Caracena, F., July 1990: Seminar on Microbursts and Quasi-geostrophic analysis. Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia, Madrid, Spain.
Caracena, F., August, 1995: Presentation on Microbursts at the National Weather Service Western Region Workshop.
Caracena, F., Feb. 1998: Using the Slow Equation Set in the Analysis of Meteorological Data and as a Dynamical Filter for Removing Gravity Wave Noise from the Output of Numerical Prognostic Models. Asemblea Hispano-Portuguese de Geofisica y Geodesia, Aguadulce, Almería, España.