Radar Meteorology

Dr. Wesley Terwey is an Assistant Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth Sciences. He came to the College of Arts & Sciences in January of 2008. He completed his Ph.D. in May of 2007 at Colorado State University.

While his dissertation research focused on the formation of the secondary eyewall in hurricanes, Terwey says in 2008 he started working on “small case studies in severe weather situations [and] then began some additional research into the role of strong and severe thunderstorms in the hurricane rainband region.” Overall, his research examines “a wide range of phenomena, including hurricanes, squall lines, severe weather outbreaks, and sea breezes.”

Radar Meteorology is Terwey’s favorite class to teach. According to Terwey, “Radars in meteorology have been undergoing a significant technological improvement in the last 5-10 years, and some of the new information we are getting from this is fundamentally changing the way we look at thunderstorms and snow storms.” Terway finds this subject exciting to teach because many students think they know how radar works already, but are actually unaware of the technology’s true complexity.

Weather has always fascinated Terwey. “My mother,” he says, “would tell you that I was born to be a weather watcher. I was apparently always watching the clouds and interested in why they did the things they did as a young child.” Later on, he took pleasure in watching thunderstorms, and snowfall, and still loves the feeling of wind. When thinking about which colleges to apply to, Terwey made sure to select universities that had meteorology programs despite his initial love of mathematics.

Had he not followed a meteorology career, Terwey says he would likely have pursued computer programming or game design. He enjoys computer programming and has a strong mathematical orientation. According to Terwey, he does “small programming projects on the side” to ensure that he learns “new programming languages and skills.”

Currently, Terwey says he is excited by his role in the NSSL/NOAA-sponsored VORTEX-SE program to launch weather balloons during severe weather situations. Terwey has taken on the Primary Investigator responsibilities for this project for the Department of Earth Sciences. Terwey thinks that his involvement with the VORTEX-SE program will help him establish a reputation in severe weather research, which, he says, “will help in potential collaborations and research opportunities in the future.”

When not teaching and doing research, Terwey manages to find time to play board and card games as well as video games. He is also a member of a local trivia team — he and his teammates have “won many local tournaments and have placed in the top 10 in the last two national tournaments.” Terwey also enjoys watching pro football and pro hockey, as well as soccer and college basketball.