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Chip Konrad, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Chip Konrad, Ph.D. Chip Konrad, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Geography, and Director of NOAA's Southeast Regional Climate Center, College of Arts and Sciences | UNC-Chapel Hill


Interests include a wide range of climatology and meteorology areas -- tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, winter weather, more.





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UNC's Dr. Charles Konrad on the Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes




Chip Konrad is an Associate Professor of Geography who has interests across a wide range of areas in climatology and meteorology, including heavy precipitation, tornadoes, hurricanes, cold air outbreaks, heat waves and winter weather. He has published research articles in various peer-reviewed journals, including Monthly Weather Review, Weather and Forecasting, the International Journal of Climatology, Climate Research and Applied Geography. He was also a co-author on the Southeast Technical Report for the National Climate Assessment.

Konrad is the Director of NOAA’s Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC), which provides operational climate service programs and expertise in climate science for the southeastern United States. SERCC is an operational climate service center that conducts research on climate in the southeastern United States and translates that research into operational tools for users.

Konrad is also a principal investigator with the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) interdisciplinary research team that connects climate science and decision-making in the realms of water, coast and health.

Areas of Expertise (11)



Extreme Weather

Atmospheric Science

Heavy precipitation



Cold Air Outbreaks

Heat Waves

Winter Weather

Climate Change

Education (3)

University of Georgia: Ph.D., Geography 1993

University of Virginia: M.S., Environmental science 1988

Virginia Polytechnic Institute: B.S., Geophysics 1985

Affiliations (2)

  • Director Southeast Regional Climate Center
  • Certified Consulting Meteorologist American Meteorological Society

Media Appearances (3)

Warm regards for Christmas: Records likely broken by holiday heat

The Roanoke Times  online


But Chip Konrad, a Roanoke native who is director of the Southeast Regional Climate Center and an assistant professor in the geography department at the University of North Carolina, differs with that widely expressed assessment ...

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Which states are most vulnerable for tornado deaths?

AccuWeather  online

July 19, 2014 Florida ranks first in the country for number of deaths per miles a tornado travels, according to Center Director Charles 'Chip' Konrad. "One way of looking at it is, what are the chances people are going to die once a tornado gets on the ground?" Konrad said. "It's a very important distinction."

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Report outlines impact of climate change on Virginia, Southeast

Daily Press  


"I think people should be really concerned, especially in the coastal areas," climate expert Chip Konrad said in a recent phone interview ...

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Event Appearances (5)

A Web-Based Heat-Health Vulnerability Tool for North Carolina

Heat-Health Webinar  Invited presentation


Relationships Between Synoptic Scale Atmospheric Fields and Precipitation across the Eastern United States

112th Conference of the Association of American Geographers  San Francisco, Calif.


Climate Perspectives: A Web-Based Tool for Assessing the Unusualness of the Weather

43rd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology  Raleigh, NC


Determining fine-grained climatological patterns of dryness and drought across the Carolinas

Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop  Las Cruces, NM


Relationships between temperature and heat-related illness in North Carolina

95th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society  Phoenix, Ariz.


Articles (6)

Area-Level Risk Factors for Heat-Related Illness in Rural and Urban Locations across North Carolina, USA

Applied Geography

2015 An improved understanding of heat vulnerable populations and locations is needed, especially in rural communities. The objective of this study was to identify area-level risk factors for heat-related illness (HRI) at the ZIP code level for urban and rural locations. We aggregated ZIP code-level emergency department visits into rural and urban locations based on population density.

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Ranking of tornado outbreaks in the United States and their climatological characteristics

Weather and Forecasting

2014 While most tornado-related fatalities often occur in outbreaks, very few studies have examined the climatological characteristics of outbreaks, particularly those of varying strength. In this study a straightforward metric to assess the strength, or physical magnitude, of tornado outbreaks east of the Rocky Mountains from 1973 to 2010 is developed.

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Challenges and opportunities for Southeast agriculture in a changing climate: Perspectives from State Climatologists

Southeastern Geographer

2014 In this study, the state climatologists from six southeastern states were interviewed to assess the challenges and opportunities faced by the agricultural sector, particularly in dealing with current climate variability and potential future changes to climate. Based on their experiences, the combination of favorable climatic conditions, ample water resources, and diversity in agricultural production makes the Southeastern U.S. unique in its ability to adapt to current climate variability and potential future changes in climate.

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Meteorological impacts of inland moving tropical cyclones

Physical Geography

2014 The southeastern United States is routinely hit by tropical cyclones. As tropical cyclones track inland and dissipate their inland impacts can be substantial. This study examines the spatial patterns of societal impacts associated with tornadoes and high winds with thirty-one inland-moving tropical cyclones that made landfall from 1985 to 2008.

A trajectory approach to analyzing the ingredients associated with heavy winter storms in central North Carolina

Weather and Forecasting

2013 This study employed a trajectory approach to analyze the ingredients (i.e., temperature, moisture, and lift) associated with heavy snowstorms and ice storms that occurred within the Raleigh, North Carolina, National Weather Service forecast region from 2000 to 2010. The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) tool was used to calculate 72-h backward (i.e., upstream) air parcel trajectories from three critical vertical pressure levels at the time and location of heaviest precipitation for each storm.

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The August 2007 Heat Wave in North Carolina: Meteorological factors and local variability

Physical Geography

2011 Regional to local variations in the heat and humidity across North Carolina are linked to upwind sensible heat fluxes associated with major soil moisture deficits, adiabatic warming connected with downsloping winds off the Appalachian Mountains, and the depth of the mixing layer. Along the coast, the pattern of heat and humidity was tied to the positioning of a mesoscale thermal trough and the presence and strength of the sea-breeze circulation.

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