Rich Rotunno is a Senior Scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He received a Ph. D. in 1976 in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from Princeton University. Rich's research has ranged over a wide variety of topics in mesoscale dynamical meteorology including, tornadoes, rotating thunderstorms, squall lines, hurricanes, polar lows, midlatitude cyclones, fronts, mountain-valley and sea-breeze circulations and coastally trapped disturbances in addition to a variety of related problems such as the dynamics of density currents, vortex stability, convection and atmospheric predictability. Through a combination of theory and numerical modeling, his work is directed at the understanding needed to make progress in the forecasting of mesoscale weather phenomena. Rich is a two-time recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Banner I. Miller Award (1991 with K. Emanuel and 2010 with G. Bryan) and in 2004 he was the recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Jule G. Charney Award.
Rich has been an active participant on national and international committees and in summer schools and colloquia concerning the science of weather and weather forecasting. Recent scientific activities have focused on tropical cyclones, orographic precipitation and atmospheric predictability.