On the Scientific Accomplishments of Dr. José Angel Colón Pérez, the First Hurricane Researcher from Puerto Rico

Tuesday, 19 April 2016: 10:30 AM
Miramar 1 & 2 (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Daniel Melendez, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and T. N. Krishnamurti, N. Dorst, H. A. Friedman, W. M. Gray, I. Matos, R. mendez, R. Mojica, A. Monzón, J. Morales, and E. J. Zipser

Recently, Dr. José Angel Colón Pérez passed away in Puerto Rico after a long and distinguished career as the first Puerto Rican-born hurricane researcher and Meteorologist-in-Charge of the San Juan Weather Forecast Office. After working on the ionospheric radio laboratory of Dr. G.W. Kenrick at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) during WWII as a student, he was recruited to attend the University of Chicago, where he obtained his PhD in 1960 under Prof. Herbert Riehl, becoming the first Puerto Rican to earn a doctorate in meteorology. His PhD dissertation "On the Heat Balance of the Troposphere and Water-Body of the Caribbean Sea" was pioneering work that, along with the studies of Riehl and Malkus, laid the foundations for the understanding of the hot towers of the tropical oceans. He was among the first PhD candidatess of Professor Riehl and carried a lot of responsibilities during the pioneering findings of the tropical easterly waves. Prof. Riehl and other Chicago meteorologists founded the Institute of Tropical Meteorology at UPR where they published fundamental research on easterly waves. Dr. Colón is known to have 35 publications including a book on the climatology of Puerto Rico and also papers on genealogy in Puerto Rico. While working at the National Hurricane Research Laboratory (NHRL), he volunteered to participate in the 1964 International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE), from which he published two papers. He also performed duties as flight meteorologist until an injury cut short his deployment, returning to Puerto Rico. During his tenure he published various studies, including a paper with Ed Zipser, then a summer graduate student at NHRL. He published studies on hurricanes ALICE (1955), BETSY (1956), BEULAH (1967), CLEO (1958), DAISY (1958) and HELENE (1958). The oft-cited report of 1963 contrasting hurricanes HELENE and DAISY provided conclusive observational evidence of eye contraction during the intensification phase. This presentation elaborates on his scientific contributions to tropical meteorology and in his role as mentor of many meteorologists.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Submission entered in competition