Senior Scientist and Science Lead for Assessments, Cooperative Institute for Climates and Satellites - NC, North Carolina State University
Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites -- NC
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Ave
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
- Senior Scientist and Science Lead for Assessments, Cooperative Institute for Climates and Satellites - NC, North Carolina State University
Dr. Kunkel’s recent research has focused on climate variability and change, particularly related to extreme events, such as heavy precipitation, heat waves, cold waves, and winter storms. A particular focus has been the historical variations in the frequency and intensity of such extreme events extending from the late 19th Century to the present. An examination of late 19th and early 20th century variations is important because it establishes the quasi-natural background which provides a context for interpreting recent variations and possible anthropogenic influences.
He has also engaged in the diagnostic analysis of both regional and global climate model output. This has focused on the regional fidelity of model simulations of the climate of the U.S., including such features as the North American monsoon and the lack of 20th Century warming in the central U.S.
He has developed a number of applications of climate data, including a temperature-based model that anticipates the risk of West Nile Virus infections and a soil moisture model for agricultural usage in the Midwest.
As part of his involvement in the National Climate Assessment, he led the development of a nine-part NOAA Technical Report series published in 2013, to support the development of the Third National Climate Assessment report. This series provides regionally-specific information on historical climate trends and scenarios of future climate change.
Dr. Kunkel joined the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites - North Carolina (CICS-NC) as a Senior Scientist and Science Lead for Assessments, and, the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, as a Research Professor in September 2010.
- MS, Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1974
- BS, Physics, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, 1972
- PhD, Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kunkel, K. 2020. Extreme precipitation and climate change: Observations and projections. ASDSO Journal of Dam Safety 17(3):22-28. (link )
Shafiei Shiva, J., D. G. Chandler and K. Kunkel. 2019. Localized changes in heat wave properties across the United States. Earth's Future 7(3):300-319. DOI: 10.1029/2018EF001085. (link )
Sankarasubramanian, A., J. L. Sabo, K. L. Larson, S. Seo, T. Sinha, R. Bhowmik, A. R. Vidal, K. Kunkel, G. Mahinthakumar, E. Berglund and J. S. Kominoski. 2017. Synthesis of public water supply use in the U.S.: Spatio-temporal patterns and socio-economic controls. Earth's Future 5(7):771-788. DOI: 10.1002/2016EF000511. (link )
Liang, X., M. Xu, X. Yuan, T. Ling, H. I. Choi, F. Zhang, L. Chen, S. Liu, S. Su, F. Qiao, Y. He, J. X. Wang, K. Kunkel, W. Gao, E. Joseph, V. Morris, T. Yu, J. Dudhia and J. Michalakes. 2012. Regional climate-weather research and forecasting model. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 93(9):1363-1387. DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00180.1. (link )
Gray, G., K. E. Kunkel, T. L. Spero, J. H. Bowden, A. M. Jalowska and M. S. Mallard. 2019. An event-based downscaling approach to modeling extreme cloudburst preciptation events. Poster presented at the American Meteorological Society 100th Annual Meeting, January 12-16, 2020, Boston, MA. (link )
Kunkel, K. E., S. Stevens, L. E. Stevens and T. R. Karl. 2020. Observed climatological relationships between precipitable water and extreme precipitation in the contiguous United States. Presentation at the American Meteorological Society 100th Annual Meeting, January 12-16, 2020, Boston, MA. (link )
Gray, G. M., K. E. Kunkel and A. P. Ballinger. 2019. Incorporation of climate change into desert storms: The challenges. Presentation at the American Meteorological Society 99th Annual Meeting, January 6-10, 2019, Phoenix, AZ. (link )
Kunkel, K., S. Stevens, L. E. Stevens and T. R. Karl. 2019. Observed climatological relationships between precipitable water and extreme precipitation in the contiguous United States. Presentation at the AGU Fall Meeting 2019, December 9-13, 2019, San Francisco, CA. (link )
Ballinger, A. and K. E. Kunkel. 2018. Communicating projections of weather and climate extremes for urban decision makers. Presentation at the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, January 7-11, 2018, Austin, TX. (link )
Keener, V., D. Helweg, S. Asam, S. Balwani, M. Burkett, C. Fletcher, T. Giambelluca, Z. Grecni, M. Nobrega-Olivera, J. Polovina, G. Tribble and K. Kunkel. 2018. Chapter 27: Hawai'i and U.S.-Affiliated Pacific islands. Pp. 1242–1308 In: Reidmiller, D. R., C. W. Avery, D. R. Easterling, K. L. Lewis, T. K. Maycock and B. C. Stewart eds., Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II. U.S. Global Change Research Program. (link )