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Dr. Gabriele Villarini (University of Iowa)

Title: Hydrometeorological Extremes and Tropical Cyclones


Rainfall associated with landfalling tropical cyclones plays a crucial role in terms of rainfall extremes and climatology in many areas of the world, from the tropics to the mid-latitudes. The flood events caused by these storms have been responsible for significant societal and economic impacts, with hundreds of fatalities and losses in the billions of dollars. In the United States alone, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (2017), Hurricanes Florence and Michael (2018) and Tropical Storm Imelda (2019) represent some of the latest examples of the devastation associated with the heavy rainfall from these storms. Therefore, an improved understanding and prediction of the heavy rainfall and flooding associated with tropical cyclones can provide basic information towards improving our preparedness, mitigation and management of these hazards.

This presentation will provide an overview of the heavy rainfall and flooding associated with tropical cyclones using a combination of observations and outputs from climate models. The results will provide a broad geographical and temporal view of the hazards associated with landfalling tropical cyclones, as well as recent insights into their predictability.

Biographical Sketch:

Gabriele Villarini is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa, and the Director of IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. He received his M.S. in Civil Engineering in 2003 from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008 from the University of Iowa; he also received his Executive MBA from the Tippie School of Business at the University of Iowa in 2018. He was a researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University from 2008 to 2012. His research interests focus on flood hydrology, extreme events, hydroclimatology, and climate predictions and projections. He has received a number of national and international awards, including the “Hydrological Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist Award” by the European Geosciences Union (2013), the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award and the Editor’s Award – Journal of Climate” by the American Meteorological Society (2014), and the James B. Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union (2016). He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2016). He has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, including articles in Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as a member of the American Geophysical Union Precipitation Committee and of the U.S.-CLIVAR Working Group on Hurricanes and Climate.

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