John Knaff earned a B.S. in Meteorology (1989) from Texas A&M University, and a MS (1992) and PhD (1997) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. He was briefly a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (1997). Following that appointment, he was a post-doctoral Fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University (1997-1999) where he was also employed as a Research Scientist position (1999-2006). He joined NOAA in 2006 as a Meteorologist in the NESDIS Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
As a student, he concentrated on topics related to tropical climate variability including El Nino/Southern Oscillation, monsoons, tropical cyclones and large-scale Atlantic climatology. The focus of his more recent studies, including his postdoctoral work, has been on observational aspects of hurricane structure and intensity variations and prediction. Much of that work has led to the development of forecast applications that have been transferred to operations at the NESDIS, the National Hurricane Center, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, and tropical cyclone warning centers worldwide. These efforts have led to many awards. In 2004, he received the NOAA David Johnson Award for basic research for improving the understanding of tropical phenomenon and predicting tropical cyclone intensity, accompanied by exemplary transfer of the results into operational products. He has also been awarded Department of Commerce Bronze Medals in 2007, 2010, and 2012, was a member of a team that received the Colorado Governor’s Award for High Impact Research in 2012 and in 2014 was recognized for his support of JTWC operations.
Up-to-date publication information can be found at the following web locations: