Dr. Lee is a research associate in the Department Atmospheric Sciences at the University of North Dakota. His research experience spans a period of over 30 years, with severe local storms being a primary research interest. Tornado development and maintenance of both the supercell and nonsupercell varieties, supercell flow-field evolution, as well as supercell interactions with other cells, have been research emphases over Dr. Lee’s career.
He is currently part of a tornado research group (including collaborators from UND and the University of Wisconsin – Madison) that is attempting to further the understanding of tornado development and maintenance processes using very high-resolution simulations of tornadic supercells and supporting observations. Dr. Lee’s primary role in this endeavor is in the acquisition and analysis of corroborating observations, and in facilitating the application of numerical/observation research findings to operational nowcasting. Another related research interest involves the analysis of mobile mesonet data from within supercell hook echo and proximate regions, along with other supporting observations, to better understand the flow-field character and evolution that is critical to understanding tornado development, intensification and demise.
Dr. Lee was the director of the ANSWERS (Analysis of the Near-Surface Wind and Environment in Supercells) project in 2002 and 2003, and science director for TWISTEX (Tactical Weather-Instrumented Sampling in/near Tornadoes EXperiment, 2007-2011). In the “distant past” (1994) he organized a research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to participate in VORTEX (Verifications of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment).
Prior to joining UND in 2019, Dr. Lee was an associate professor of meteorology at the University of Northern Colorado, a senior atmospheric scientist at WindLogics, Inc., and owner/manager of High Impact Weather Research & Consulting, LLC. He has a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995), a MS in Meteorology from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (1990), and a BAEM (Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics) from the University of Minnesota (1982).