Norman A. Phillips

Norman A. Phillips
Norman A. Phillips
  • From:

    National Weather Service, National Meteorological Center

  • Year:

    2003

  • Subject:

    Earth Science

  • Award:

    Benjamin Franklin Medal

  • Citation:

    With Joseph Smagorinsky, for their major contributions to the prediction of weather and climate using numerical methods. Their seminal and pioneering studies led to the first computer models of weather and climate, as well as to an understanding of the general circulation of the atmosphere, including the transports of heat and moisture that determine the Earth's climate. In addition, Smagorinsky played a leading role in establishing the current global observational network for the atmosphere, and Phillips' leadership fostered the development of effective methods for the use of observations in data assimilation systems.

A theoretical meteorologist, Norman Phillips was the first to show, with a simple General Circulation model, that weather prediction with numerical models was even feasible. The advent of numerical weather predictions in the 1950s also signaled the transformation of weather forecasting from a highly individualistic effort to one in which teams of experts developed complex computer programs, eventually for high-speed computers.

Dr. Phillips received his B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1951.

Dr. Phillips shares this award with Dr. Joseph Smagorinsky of the NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

Dr. Smagorinsky established a national system to monitor weather.

Temperature and pressure differences cause the jet streams and wind. These differences are measured by weather balloons.

Information as of April 2003