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Michael French

Associate Professor



- University of Oklahoma

Research Topics:

supercell and tornado dynamics, Doppler weather radar applications, mesoscale meteorology


  • Bio/Research


    My research interests revolve around using Doppler radar data to better understand the dynamics of mesoscale weather phenomena. In particular I use high spatial and temporal resolution datasets from phased array radars and dual-polarization radars, in addition to data from other observing tools, to gain insight into severe storm and tornado processes. I hope to extend these studies to cool season mesoscale weather systems such as lake effect snow and mesoscale snow banding. I also am interested in using data from research radars to investigate radar signatures and their causes so that operational forecasters may use them as proxies for mesoscale processes and/or indicators of environmental conditions in short-term forecasting and nowcasting of hazardous weather events.

  • Publications


    Kingfield, D. M., and  M. M. French, 2022: The influence of WSR-88D intra-volume scanning strategies on thunderstorm observations and warnings in the dual-polarization radar era: 2011-2020.  Wea. Forecasting, in press.

    Segall, J.,  M. M. French, D. M. Kingfield, S. D. Loeffler, M. R. Kumjian, 2022: Storm-scale polarimetric radar signatures associated with tornado dissipation in supercells.  Wea. Forecasting, in press.

    French, M. M., and D. M. Kingfield, 2021: Tornado formation and intensity prediction using polarimetric radar estimates of updraft area.  Wea. Forecasting36, 2211-2231.

    Tuftedal, K. S.,  M. M. French, D. M. Kingfield, and J. C. Snyder, 2021: Observed bulk hook echo drop size distribution evolution in supercell tornadogenesis and tornadogenesis failure.  Mon. Wea. Rev.149, 2539-2557.

    McKeown, Katherine E.,  M. M. French, K. S. Tuftedal, D. M. Kingfield, H. B. Bluestein, D. W. Reif, and Z. B. Wienhoff, 2020: Rapid scan and polarimetric radar observations of the dissipation of a violent tornado on 9 May 2016 near Sulphur, Oklahoma.  Mon. Wea. Rev.148, 3951-3971.

    Houser, Jana B., N. McGinnis, K. M. Butler, H. B. Bluestein, J. C. Snyder, and  M. M. French, 2020: Statistical and empirical relationships between tornado intensity and both topography and land cover using rapid-scan radar observations and a GIS.  Mon. Wea. Rev.148, 4313-4338.

    Wunsch, Matthew S., and  M. M. French, 2020: Delayed tornadogenesis within New York State severe storms.  J. Operational Meteor.,  8 (6), 79-92.

    Loeffler, Scott D., M. R. Kumjian, M. Jurewicz, and  M. M. French, 2020: Differentiating between tornadic and nontornadic supercells using polarimetric radar signatures of hydrometeor size sorting.  Geophys. Res. Lett.47, e2020GL088242.

    French, Michael M., and D. M. Kingfield, 2019: Dissipation characteristics of Tornadic Vortex Signatures associated with long-duration tornadoes.  J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.58, 317-339.

    Liou, Y-C., H. B. Bluestein,  M. M. French, and Z. B. Wienhoff, 2018: Single-Doppler velocity retrieval of the wind field in a tornadic supercell using mobile, phased-array, Doppler radar data.  J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol.35, 1649-1663.

    Bluestein, Howard. B., and  M. M. French, J. C. Snyder, and J. B. Houser, 2016: Doppler-radar observations of anticyclonic tornadoes in cyclonically rotating, right-moving supercells.  Mon Wea. Rev.144, 1591-1616.

    Supinie, Timothy A., Y. Jung, M. Xue, D. J. Stensrud,  M. M. French, and H. B. Bluestein, 2016: Impact of VORTEX2 observations on analyses and forecasts of the 5 June 2009 Goshen County, Wyoming, supercell.  Mon. Wea. Rev.,  144 429-449.

    French, Michael M., P. S. Skinner, L. J. Wicker, and H. B. Bluestein, 2015: Documenting a rare tornado merger observed in the 24 May 2011 El Reno-Piedmont, Oklahoma supercell. Mon. Wea. Rev.,   143, 3025-3043.

    French, Michael M., L. J. Wicker, D. W. Burgess, and E. R. Mansell, 2015: Bulk hook echo raindrop sizes retrieved using mobile, polarimetric Doppler radar observations.   J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.,   54, 423-450.

    Skinner, Patrick S., C. C. Weiss,   M. M. French  H. B. Bluestein, P. M. Markowski, and Y. P. Richardson, 2014: VORTEX2 observations of a low-level mesocyclone with multiple internal rear-flank downdraft momentum surges in the 18 May 2010 Dumas, Texas supercell. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 2935-2960.

    French, Michael M., H. B. Bluestein, I. PopStefanija, C. A. Baldi, and R. T. Bluth, 2014: Mobile, phased-array, Doppler radar observations of tornadoes at X band.   Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 1010-1036.

    Bluestein, Howard B., J. B. Houser,   M. M. French, J. C. Snyder, G. D. Emmitt, I. PopStefanija, C. A. Baldi, and R. T. Bluth, 2014: Observations of the boundary layer near tornadoes and in supercells using a mobile, co-located, pulsed Doppler lidar and radar.   J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 31, 302-325.

    French, Michael M., H. B. Bluestein, I. PopStefanija, C. A. Baldi, and R. T. Bluth, 2013: Reexamining the vertical development of Tornadic Vortex Signatures in supercells.   Mon. Wea. Rev., 141, 4576-4601.

    Bluestein, Howard B.,   M. M. French, I. PopStefanija, R. T. Bluth, and J. B. Knorr, 2010: A mobile, phased-array Doppler radar for the study of severe convective storms.   Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 579–600.

    French, Michael M., H. B. Bluestein, L. J. Wicker, D. C. Dowell, and M. R. Kramar, 2009: An example of the use of mobile, Doppler radar data for tornado verification.   Wea. Forecasting, 24, 884–891.

    French, Michael M., H. B. Bluestein, D. C. Dowell, L. J. Wicker, M. R. Kramar, and A. L. Pazmany, 2008: High-resolution, mobile Doppler radar observations of cyclic mesocyclogenesis in a supercell.   Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 4997–5016.

    Bluestein, Howard B.,   M. M. French, R. L. Tanamachi, S. Frasier, K. Hardwick, F. Junyent, and A. L. Pazmany, 2007: Close-range observations of tornadoes in supercells made with a dual-polarization, X-band, mobile Doppler radar.   Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 1522–1543.

    Bluestein, Howard B., C. C. Weiss,   M. M. French, E. M. Holthaus, R. L. Tanamachi, S. Frasier, and A. L. Pazmany, 2007: The structure of tornadoes near Attica, Kansas, on 12 May 2004: High-resolution, mobile, Doppler radar observations.   Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 475–506.

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