Jeffrey Basara wearing a blue shirt and dark blue coat and smiling at the camera.

Jeffrey Basara, Ph.D.

Chair, Professor

Kennedy College of Sciences
Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Olney Hall, Room 201C


Weather and Climate Extremes, Hydrometeorology, Hydroclimatology

Research Interests

I am interested in the complex challenges at the intersection between weather, climate, water, and ecosystems with specific focus on the processes that drives hydrometeorological and hydroclimatological extremes and impacts from local to global scales.


  • Ph.D.: Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 001
  • M.S.:  Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. 1998
  • B.S.: Atmospheric Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1994


Jeffrey Basara is a Professor and serves as the Chair of the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research is focused on the complex, integrated processes across weather, climate, water, and ecosystems with specific attention directed toward precipitation extremes and associated impacts. This includes droughts, flash droughts, flash floods, and pluvial periods, along with the evolution of the planetary boundary layer, surface-atmosphere exchange, urban-atmosphere interactions, and severe and extreme weather such as heat waves, cold air outbreaks, and cascading events. Many of these research projects require collaboration with a range of colleagues and scientists and true interdisciplinary partnerships. He is a Kavli Fellow of the United States National Academy of Sciences and has received multiple research awards including the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Under Secretary’s Award in 2019 from the USDA.

Prof. Basara has passion for teaching with the overarching goal to provide excellent instruction that meets the needs of students desiring to be difference makers across the environmental sciences. He has received multiple teaching awards and serves on the Advisory Panel of the claimed COMET program which provides education and training to operational forecasters across the globe.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2022 College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Award for Excellence in Research – University of Oklahoma
  • 2019 College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching – University of Oklahoma
  • 2019 USDA Research Education Economics (REE) Under Secretary’s Award
  • 2019 USDA-NIFA Multistate Partnership Award
  • 2014 Named a Kavli Fellow of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1998 NASA Earth System Science Ph.D. Fellowship

Selected Publications

  • Christian, J., E. Martin, Basara, J. B., Furtado, J., Otkin, J., L. Lowman, Hunt, E., V. Mishra, Xiao, X., 2023: Global Projections of Flash Drought in a Warming Climate, Nature Communications Earth & Environment, 4, 165.
  • Wakefield, R.A., D.D. Turner, T. Rosenbeger, T. Heus, T.J. Wagner, J. Santanello, and J.B. Basara, 2023: A Methodology for Estimating the Energy and Moisture Budget of the Convective Boundary Layer Using Continuous Ground-based Infrared Spectrometer Observations. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 62, 901–914,.
  • Edris, S. E., J. B. Basara; J. I. Christian; E. D. Hunt; J. A. Otkin; S. T. Salesky; B. G. Illston, 2023: Decomposing the Critical Components of Flash Drought Using the Standardized Evaporative Stress Ratio. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, 330, 109288.
  • Brauer, N. S., A. A. Alford, S. M. Waugh, M. I. Biggerstaff, G. D. Carrie, P. E. Kirstetter, J. B. Basara, D. T Dawson, K. L. Elmore, J. Stevenson, and R. W. Moore, 2022: Hurricane Laura (2020): A comparison of drop size distribution moments using numerous ground and radar remote sensing retrievals methods. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127, e2021JD035845.
  • Christian J. I., J. B. Basara, L.E.L. Lowman, X. Xiao, D. Mesheske, and Y. Zhou, 2022: Flash Drought Identification from Satellite-Based Land Surface Water Index. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 26, 100770.
  • Millin, O. T., J. C. Furtado, J. B. Basara, 2022: Characteristics, Evolution, and Formation of Cold Air Outbreaks in the Great Plains of the United States. J. Climate. 35, 4585-4602.
  • Christian, J., Basara, J. B., Hunt, E., Otkin, J., Furtado, J., Xiao, X. and R. Randall, 2021: Global Distribution, Trends, and Drivers of Flash Drought Occurrence. Nature Comms., 12, 6330 (2021).
  • Wakefield, R. A., J. B. Basara, N. S. Brauer , J. Furtado, J. M. Shepherd, J. Santanello, 2021: The Inland Maintenance and Re-intensification of Tropical Storm Bill (2015) Part 1: Contributions of the Brown Ocean Effect. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 22, 2675-2693.
  • Hunt, E., F. Femia, C. Werrell, J. Christian, J. Otkin, J. Basara, M. Anderson, T. White, R. Randall, C. Hain, K. McGaughey, 2021: Agricultural and Food Security Impacts from the 2010 Russia flash drought. Weather and Climate Extremes, 34, 100383.
  • Brauer, N. S., J. B. Basara, R. A. Wakefield, P. Kirstetter, C. R. Homeyer, J. M. Shepherd, J. Santanello, 2021: The Inland Maintenance and Re-intensification of Tropical Storm Bill (2015) Part 2: Precipitation Microphysics. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 22, 2695-2711.
  • Homeyer, C. R., A. O. Fierro, B. A. Schenkel, A. C. Didlake, G. M. McFarquar, J. Hu, A. Ryzhkov, J. B. Basara, A. Murphy, J. Zawislak, 2021: Polarmetric signatures in landfalling tropical cyclones. Monthly Weather Review. 149, 131-154.
  • Christian, J., Basara, J. B., Hunt, E., Otkin, J., and X. Xiao, 2020: Flash drought development and cascading impacts associated with the 2010 Russian Heatwave. Environmental Research Letters, 15, 9.
  • Brauer, N., Basara, J. B., Homeyer, C. R., McFarquhar, G., Kirstetter, P.-E. 2020: Quantifying Precipitation Efficiency and Drivers of Excessive Precipitation in Post-Landfall Hurricane Harvey. Journal of Hydrometeorology ,21, 433–452.
  • Jennrich, G.C., J.C. Furtado, J.B. Basara, and E.R. Martin, 2020: Synoptic Characteristics of 14-Day Extreme Precipitation Events Across the United States. J. Climate, 33 (15): 6423–6440.
  • Basara, J. B., Christian, J., Wakefield, R., Otkin, J., Hunt, E., and D. Brown, 2019: The evolution, propagation, and spread of flash drought in the Central United States during 2012. Environmental Research Letters, 14, 084025.
  • Christian, J., Basara, J. B., Otkin, J., Hunt, E, 2019: Regional characteristics of flash droughts across the United States. Environmental Research Communications, 1, 12, doi: 10.1088/2515-7620/ab50ca.
  • Erlingis, J.M., J.J. Gourley, and J.B. Basara, 2019: Diagnosing Moisture Sources for Flash Floods in the United States Part I: Kinematic Trajectories. J. Hydrometeor., 20,1495–1509.
  • Erlingis, J.M., J.J. Gourley, and J.B. Basara, 2019: Diagnosing Moisture Sources for Flash Floods in the United States Part II: Terrestrial and Oceanic Sources of Moisture. J. Hydrometeor., 20, 1511–1531.
  • Flanagan, P.X., J.B. Basara, J.C. Furtado, E.R. Martin, and X. Xiao, 2019: Role of Sea Surface Temperatures in Forcing Circulation Anomalies Driving United States Great Plains Pluvial Years. J. Climate, 32, 7081–7100.
  • Wakefield, R.A., J.B. Basara, J.C. Furtado, B.G. Illston, C.R. Ferguson, and P.M. Klein, 2019: A Modified Framework for Quantifying Land-Atmosphere Covariability during Hydrometeorological and Soil Wetness Extremes in Oklahoma. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 58, 1465–1483.
  • Basara, J. B., and J. I. Christian, 2018: Seasonal and interannual variability of land–atmosphere coupling across the Southern Great Plains of North America using the North American regional reanalysis. International Journal of Climatology, 38, 964–978.10.1002/joc.5223.
  • Flanagan, P., J. Basara, J. Furtado, and X. Xiao, 2018: Primary Atmospheric Drivers of Pluvial Years in the United States Great Plains. J. Hydrometeor., 19, 643–658.
  • Otkin, J.A., M. Svoboda, E.D. Hunt, T.W. Ford, M.C. Anderson, C. Hain, and J.B. Basara, 2018: Flash Droughts: A Review and Assessment of the Challenges Imposed by Rapid Onset Droughts in the United States. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, 911–919.
  • Flanagan, P. X., J. B. Basara, and X. Xiao, 2017: Long-term analysis of the asynchronicity between temperature and precipitation maxima in the United States Great Plains. International Journal of Climatology, 37, 3919-3933. dos:10.1002/joc.4966.
  • Flanagan, P. X., J. B. Basara, J. Otkin, and B. G. Illston, 2017: The Effect of the Dryline and Convective Initiation on Drought Evolution Over Oklahoma During the 2011 Drought. Advances in Meteorology, doi:10.1155/2017/8430743.
  • Nemunaitis-Berry, K. L., P. M. Klein, J. B. Basara, and E. Fedorovich, 2017: Sensitivity of Predictions of the Urban Surface Energy Balance and Heat Island to Variations of Urban Canopy Parameters in Simulations with the WRF Model. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 10.1175/jamc-d-16-0157.1.
  • Toms, B. A., J. B. Basara, and Y. Hong, 2017: Usage of Existing Meteorological Data Networks for Parameterized Road Ice Formation Modeling. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 56, 1959–1976, 10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0199.1.
  • Schroeder, A., J. B. Basara, J. M. Shepherd, and S. Nelson, 2016: Insights into Atmospheric Contributors to Urban Flash Flooding across the United States Using an Analysis of Rawinsonde Data and Associated Calculated Parameters. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 313-323.
  • Christian, J., K. Christian, and J. B. Basara, 2015: Drought and Pluvial Dipole Events within the Great Plains of the United States. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 54, 1886–1898.
  • Basara, J. B., B. G. Illston, C. A. Fiebrich, P. Browder, C. Morgan, J. P. Bostic, A. McCombs, R. A. McPherson, A. J. Schroeder, and K. C. Crawford, 2011: The Oklahoma City Micronet. Meteorological Applications, 18, 252-261.
  • Basara, J. B., H. G. Basara, B. G. Illston, and K. C. Crawford, 2010: The Impact of the Urban Heat Island During an Intense Heat Wave in Oklahoma City. Advances in Meteorology, DOI:10.1155/2010/230365.
  • Arndt, D. S., J. B. Basara, R. A. McPherson, B. G. Illston, G. D. McManus, and D. B. Demko, 2009: The overland reintensification of Tropical Storm Erin (2007). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 1079-1093.
  • Gu, Y., E. Hunt, B. Wardlow, J. B. Basara, J. F. Brown, and J. P. Verdin, 2008: Evaluation and validation of MODIS NDVI and NDWI for vegetation drought monitoring using Oklahoma Mesonet soil moisture data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L22401, doi:10.1029/2008GL035772.
  • Hocker, J. E., and J. B. Basara, 2008: A ten year spatial climatology of squall line storms across Oklahoma. Int. J. Climatol., 28, 765-775.
  • Hocker, J. E., and J. B. Basara, 2008: A geographic information systems based analysis of supercells across Oklahoma. J. Appl. Meteor. and Climatol., 47, 1518-1538.
  • Illston, B. G., J. B. Basara, D. K Fisher, C. Fiebrich, K. Humes, R. Elliott, K. C. Crawford, E. Hunt, 2008: Mesoscale monitoring of soil moisture across a statewide network. J. of Atmos. and Oceanic Tech., 25, 167-182.
  • Swenson, S., J. Famiglietti, J. Basara, and J. Wahr, 2008: Estimating Profile Soil Moisture and Groundwater Storage Variations in the Southern Great Plains Using GRACE Satellite Gravimetric and Oklahoma Mesonet Soil Moisture Data. Water Resources Research. 44, W01413, doi:10.1029/2007WR006057.
  • McPherson, R.A., C.A. Fiebrich, K.C. Crawford, R.L. Elliott, J.R. Kilby, D.L. Grimsley, J.E. Martinez, J.B. Basara, B.G. Illston, D.A. Morris, K.A. Kloesel, S.J. Stadler, A.D. Melvin, A.J. Sutherland, H. Shrivastava, J.D. Carlson, J.M. Wolfinbarger, J.P. Bostic, and D.B. Demko, 2007: Statewide Monitoring of the Mesoscale Environment: A Technical Update on the Oklahoma Mesonet. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 24, 301–321.
  • Basara, J. B., and K. C. Crawford, 2002: Linear relationships between root-zone soil moisture and atmospheric processes in the planetary boundary layer. J. Geophys. Res., 107, (ACL 10) 1-18.