H a r o l d    B r o o k s
Harold Brooks
Head, Mesoscale Applications
National Severe Storms Laboratory/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK

   When I finished at Illinois, I got a National Research Council post-doctoral appointment at NSSL and continued working on modeling of supercell thunderstorms. I started doing more and more with operational forecasting problems and in 1992, I became a full-time employee of NSSL.

Tree with typical tornado damage from the May 3, 1999 F-5 twister.

Since then, I’ve worked on a number of problems, including observations of the environments of supercells, the distribution of heavy rain in the United States, forecast evaluation, how we use numerical models in weather forecasting, and I’ve been a part of forecast support for field experiments. I’m interested in a wide range of problems, so I’m never sure what I’ll be doing next. Besides my research, I’ve been involved in training forecasters and severe weather spotters and I spend quite a bit of time doing public presentations about severe weather, both to the general public and via the media.

Brooks, one of America's leading weather statisticians, notes there are many simple ways for students to stay safe in severe weather..

   I’ve been married since 1987 and have two kids, Sarah (8) and Christopher (4). When I’m not working, I stay pretty busy. For the last six years, I’ve taught a class of 3-year-olds in Sunday School at my church. I’ve written a few articles on baseball (remember why I started doing division?), particularly looking at the questions "Are there any clutch hitters?" (the answer’s no, at least by any useful definition) and "What happens to players who don’t take days off during the season?" (they don’t hit well at the end of the year).

   I play golf occasionally, basketball (horribly), and I’ve played softball for the last 23 years on a variety of teams. I really enjoy reading history. Some of my favorite books I’ve read recently are Barbara Tuchman’s "A Distant Mirror," Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy, Antonia Fraser’s "Faith and Treason," and John Barry’s "Rising Tide." I love touring battlefields, particularly from the US Civil War.

Ed. Note: Harold appears in LIVE FROM THE STORM program 2 to describe the destruction caused by the May 3, 1999 Oklahoman City tornadoes. He'll also be answering questions on-air and online as part of RESEARCHER Q&A.


Back to BIOgraphies Menu Harold Brooks' Biography    1     2