I study tropical climatology, hurricanes, severe weather and remote sensing of rainfall at the University of Florida. AMA!
Hello Reddit! I’m Corene Matyas and am a tropical climatologist, hurricane expert and associate professor of geography at the University of Florida. My primary research involves the GIS-based analysis of rainfall from tropical cyclones, but I am also interested in other severe weather events and social and behavioral responses to natural hazards.
At a young age, I realized you cannot hide from severe weather events, so I vowed to learn everything I could about hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters. I wanted to be prepared when severe weather struck.
Throughout my education as a scientist, I maintained an interest in art and these two pursuits led me to my thesis work where I examined the shapes of “rainprints” produced when convective thunderstorms moved through the region around Phoenix, Arizona, during the monsoon season.
For my dissertation work, I investigated how best to quantify the shapes of tropical cyclone rain shields. Many physical mechanisms affect rain production in these storms, such as topography, interaction with middle latitude weather systems, and atmospheric moisture. My doctoral research laid the groundwork for attributing changes in the rain shield shapes to these physical mechanisms and explored a new set of methods for examining tropical cyclone rainfall patterns.
With funding from a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, I have two broad research goals: a) determine which environmental characteristics are key in the prediction of the spatial patterns of tropical cyclone rain fields, and b) measure tropical cyclone rain shield shapes during landfall using high-resolution radar data and tools for spatial analysis.
I mentor students who would like to examine severe weather events, atmospheric teleconnections, or rainfall, and who have GIS and/or remote sensing skills.
I’m here to answer your questions!
Here’s a bit more about me:
I received a Ph.D. in Physical Geography (Climatology) from Pennsylvania State University (2005), an MS in Physical Geography from Arizona State University (2001) and BS in Environmental Geoscience from Clarion University of Pennsylvania (1999).
Earlier this year, thanks to the wonderful students who nominated me, I received the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 2018-2019 College Teaching Award.
- Faculty Webpage – Corene Matyas
- UF Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Research – Current Projects
- Thompson Earth Systems Institute & Florida Museum presents Science on Tap: Is Florida Trying to Kill Me? – Hurricanes
- Florida Climate Institute Member
Update: If you are interested in studying hurricanes, we have a program in the Geography Department at the University of Florida where you can take courses towards a certificate (in-person or online), or in one of our existing majors in geography or environmental geoscience or the major we're developing in applied meteorology. Visit https://geog.ufl.edu/ for more info!