Lisa Darby

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Hydrometeorology Observations and Processes




Lisa Darby is a meteorologist in the Hydrometeorology Observations and Processes (HOP) research team in the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories (ESRL)/Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) in Boulder, CO. Her current research activities include evaluating numerical weather prediction precipitation forecasts in the western U.S., air quality research, and wind flows in complex terrain. Lisa has recently stepped down from co-managing the NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed (jointly run by PSL and WPC), and serving on the NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team. Lisa was also a founding member of the new PSL Seminar Series committee that is working toward bringing a diversity of speakers from the surrounding atmospheric science community to PSL.

Prior to joining HOP, Lisa worked for six years in the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) program office, organizing stakeholder interactions and activities for NIDIS Drought Early Warning and Information Systems (DEWS) in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and along the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina. During this time Lisa also worked on an International Polar Year project called International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA), promoting pan-Arctic research.

Before NIDIS, Lisa worked for 20 years as a meteorologist in the optical remote sensing research group at ESRL. In this capacity she developed expertise in Doppler lidar studies of mesoscale wind systems and was involved in many projects that focused on coastal wind flows and their impact on air quality.

Lisa has a B.S. in Meteorology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. She also has a B.M. in music therapy from Florida State University.

Research Interests

  • Mesoscale meteorological systems
  • Extreme precipitation events
  • Air quality
  • Research-to-operations


  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Jun 2001
  • B.S., Meteorology, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Jun 1990

Selected Publications

  • Conrads, P.A. and L. S. Darby, 2016: Development of a Coastal Drought Index using salinity data, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 753-766, DOI:
  • Uttal, T., S., and Coauthors, 2016: International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere: An International Polar Year Legacy Consortium. Bull. Am. Meteor. Soc., 97, 1033-1056, DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00145.1
  • Darby, L.S., A.B. White, D. J. Gottas, and T. Coleman, 2019: An evaluation of integrated water vapor, wind, and precipitation forecasts using water vapor flux observations in the Western United States, Wea. Forecasting, 34, 1867-1888, DOI: 10.1175/WAF-D-18-0159.1.
  • Banta, R.M., C.M. Shun, D.C. Law, W.O.J. Brown, R.F. Reinking, R.M. Hardesty, C.J. Senff, W.A. Brewer, M.J. Post, L.S. Darby, 2012: Observational techniques: Sampling the mountain atmosphere. Ch. 8 in Mountain Weather Research and Forecasting, Eds., F.K. Chow, S. De Wekker, and B. Snyder, Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
  • Darby, L.S., 2005: Cluster analysis of surface winds in Houston, Texas and the impact of wind patterns on ozone. J. Appl. Meteor., 44, 1788-1806.

Professional Memberships

  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union

Honors and Awards

  • NOAA Employee of the Year Award, 2000
  • NOAA/DOC Bronze Medal, 2017 (Awarded to PSL for the El NiƱo Rapid Response Field Campaign)
  • OAR Outstanding Paper Award, 2005. Ryerson, et al., 2003
  • NOAA/DOC Group Silver Medal Award for Scientific/Engineering Achievement, 2004
  • Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, 1995. Banta, R.M, et al.