8B.1 Remembering the Great Scientist and Mentor Ron Przybylinski

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 8:30 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 3 (Washington State Convention Center )
James E. Sieveking Jr., NWS, Saint Charles, MO

The National Weather Service (NWS) lost one of its brightest and most beloved scientists on 12 March 2015, with the passing of Ron Przybylinski. Ron served as the Science and Operations Officer (SOO) at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in St. Louis since 1991 and was well known throughout the agency and greater meteorological community, not only as a great scientist, but also as a caring, engaging, and thoughtful colleague. During his 35-year career with the NWS, Ron made major contributions to operational meteorology and became a recognized expert on quasi-linear convective systems, bow echoes, mesoscale convective systems, as well as the convective winds and tornadogenesis associated with these thunderstorm structures. 

Throughout his career, Ron enthusiastically shared his research with his peers throughout the NWS and mentored countless forecasters and students across the country. He worked with the academic research community and was a principal investigator on the severe straight-line winds component of the COMET Cooperative Project with Saint Louis University. He was instrumental in helping bring new, life-saving technology into operations, serving as a project leader on the Operational Test and Evaluation of the WSR-88D Doppler Radar and a key organizer and participant in the 2003 Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment (BAMEX). Ron was also an active member of both the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and National Weather Association (NWA); serving on both the AMS Severe Local Storms Committee and as a Councilor for the NWA. Ron published numerous scientific papers and gave many presentations at both AMS and NWA conferences over his distinguished career.

Ron was recognized for his scientific achievements in 1989 as a recipient of the NWA Operational Research Award, in 2003 with the NWA T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award, and in 2012 with the Charles L. Mitchell Award by the AMS “for improving NWS warnings through collaborative research and training in recognizing Doppler radar signatures associated with high wind events in quasi-linear convective systems.” In 2013, NOAA honored Ron with the Distinguished Career Award “for his work, which has improved our understanding of severe weather threats to our Nation, including damaging straight-line winds and tornadoes.”

Ron’s intense curiosity about the science of meteorology, his selflessness in working with countless young scientists across the country, and his unwavering dedication to public service will live on in all those fortunate enough to have known or worked with him.

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