CIMMS at NSSL: Kiel Ortega

Kiel Ortega, Research Associate (CIMMS/NSSL)


M.S. University of Oklahoma, 2008
B.S. University of Oklahoma, 2005

Experience: Kiel was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He began his career in 2004 as an undergraduate assistant with OU’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. He became a graduate assistant in 2005, then research associate in 2008. During his years with NSSL, Kiel has done extensive work in the field. He participated in the Vortex 2 campaign and assisted with damage surveys after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

What He Does: Currently, Kiel is working on NSSL’s SHAVE and MYRORSS projects. SHAVE, which stands for Severe Hazards Analysis & Verification Experiment, aims to collect high quality data that identifies distribution of hail sizes, wind damage, and flash flooding in severe thunderstorms. This data helps us evaluate the performance of multi-radar, multi-sensor algorithms and also helps researchers develop new tools and techniques. MYRORRS, or Multi-Year Reanalysis Of Remotely-Sensed Storms, is an effort to evaluate model output and radar products from 15 years of WSR-88D data over the continental U.S. From this information, we can improve warning guidance.

Trivia: Kiel has two dogs, Remy and Cece, and he enjoys exploring craft beers and hiking/backpacking.