Jase Bernhardt has had a lifelong passion for studying weather and climate, dating to his childhood in Upstate New York. At Hofstra, Dr. Bernhardt spearheaded the installation of three campus weather stations, which provide real-time data and practical experience for his meteorology students.
In his current research, Bernhardt is using virtual reality to improve storm warnings and preparation. His project aims to determine if those who watch a simulation of a hurricane are more likely to respond with precautionary measures when faced with a real storm.
Dr. Bernhardt received a B.S. in atmospheric science from Cornell University, where he researched east coast winter storms. He attended graduate school at Penn State, working in the Department of Geography, with a focus on climatology. He expanded his research interests to include human impacts on climate, historical climatology, and the usage of GIS. While at Penn State, Jase served as a broadcast meteorologist on the Weather World television program, broadcast throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (8)
Virtual Reality to Promote Evacuation
Penn State University: MS 2016
Penn State University: MS 2013
Cornell University: BS 2011
Media Appearances (13)
Air quality in New York area improves because of coronavirus shutdown
WABC-TV Eyewitness News tv
On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, it's mixed news about how pollution and COVID-19 are related. Poor air quality increases death from the virus, but because we are all staying home, the air is cleaning up! Spots with more harmful pollution, including New York, have a 15% higher COVID-19 death rate... but National Geographic says COVID-19 impacts have flipped the switch. "This is unprecedented where we haven't seen - since the industrial revolution - a shutdown of not just one or two cities but most cities across the globe," said Dr. Jase Berhardt from Hofstra University.
Coronavirus may be making weather forecasts less accurate — and may even change the weather itself
This Earth Day, there are fewer planes in the sky than at any time in at least the last decade. That means less pollution in many places, but it also may be affecting the ability of meteorologists to forecast the weather. In some places, the reduction in flights may even be changing the weather itself. Commercial aircraft contribute more than 700,000 data observations to global meteorological models as part of the Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay program, part of the WMO’s Global Observing System. Jase Bernhardt, an assistant professor at Hofstra University’s Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability, said data from aircraft can itself be somewhat unreliable because flight paths, schedules and frequencies change day to day. Still, Bernhardt said planes continue to play an important role, particularly in forecasting weather systems over the oceans, where coverage from other tools like weather balloons and buoys may be unavailable. “There’s very limited data coverage over the oceans, and planes are great in helping us to fill that in, so that’s where I’m sure we’re going to lose out on valuable data since it’s already so sparse there,” Bernhardt said.
7 years later, how Sandy impacted the health of Long Islanders
Superstorm Sandy cost Long Islanders dearly with their health. And, seven years later, they're still paying — both financially and emotionally. Along with Sandy, the researchers conducted nine other case studies of what they describe as climate-sensitive events in 2012, including algae blooms in Florida, wildfires in Colorado and an outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas. The health fallout of all 10 events totaled $10 billion, a figure the scientists reached by adding up the costs of everything from emergency room visits to prescription drugs to the value of a lost life. For Hofstra University meteorologist Jase Bernhardt, the analysis advances the discussion of how climate affects health. “This is a new take on it,” said Bernhardt, who oversees the school's meteorology department. “It’s not just the impact on things being destroyed. It’s the toll on human health.”
Snow much for snow on Long Island this (meteorological) winter
Assistant Professor of Geology, Environment and Sustainability Jase Bernhardt was featured in a Newsday story that examines the low snowfall this winter. Only 4.4 inches of snow fell from December 2018-February 2019, which tied this winter for the fifth least snowy on record, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.
Long Island saw wet and wild weather in 2018
The year’s weather on Long Island certainly delivered some surprising swerves and major course reversals. So much so that “Jekyll and Hyde” is how Jase Bernhardt, assistant professor and head of Hofstra University’s new meteorology minor program, describes those wide swings.
Can Virtual Reality Promote Evacuation
The Weather Channel tv
Professor Jase Bernhardt appeared on The Weather Channel to discuss hurricanes and virtual reality.
In the crosshairs of looming disaster
In an op-ed for Newsday, Assistant Professor of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability Jase Bernhardt discusses the need for better disaster preparedness on Long Island, a region that has been devastated over the years by powerful hurricanes and storms such as Sandy, Irene, and Gloria. He is the director of a daylong symposium at Hofstra that will examine past storms, assess forecasting techniques, and discuss ways to avoid mistakes of the past in preparing for the next big storm.
Hofstra virtual reality project simulates hurricane experience
Assistant Professor of Geology, Sustainability and the Environment Dr. Jase Bernhardt and his students are studying whether using virtual reality simulations of hurricanes will make coastal residents more likely to heed storm warnings and evacuate.
Forecast: Second nor’easter could bring snow to Long Island
As two nor’easters hit the region in one week, Professor Jase Bernhardt, a meteorologist who runs Hofstra’s three weather stations, discusses the differences between the two storms in this Newsday article.
Are Hurricanes Linked to Climate Change?
WPIX News 11 Close-up tv
Weather expert Jase Bernhardt discusses the connection between global warming and the historic 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
WABC-7 Eyewitness AccuWeather Forum
WABC7-Eyewitness News tv
WABC-TV Eyewitness News presented an AccuWeather community forum at Hofstra University’ featuring Meteorologists Lee Goldberg, Bill Evans, Amy Freeze, and Jeff Smith and Hofstra Assistant Professor of Geology, Environment and Sustainability Studies Jase Bernhardt. The panel discussed the behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into forecasting extreme weather conditions and whether the New York metropolitan area has become better prepared for severe storm systems.
Eye of the Virtual Storm
Most people hope they never experience a hurricane. Professor Jase Bernhardt is using virtual reality to make sure they do, as part of an experiment aimed at improving storm warnings and preparation. “We’re trying to show that people who watch a simulation of a hurricane are more likely to respond with precautionary measures,” said Dr. Jase Bernhardt, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability. “The extra layer of virtual reality will help people take warnings more seriously.” The project, which Bernhardt has been developing for about a year, took on added urgency after hurricanes Maria, Irma, Harvey, and Jose stormed through the Atlantic this year, making 2017 one of the deadliest storm seasons in more than a century.
Rip Current Safety
Fox 5 TV and WCBS-TV tv
Professor Bernhardt is spending much of the summer with his student researchers, surveying beachgoers on Long Island as they demo his latest virtual reality simulation. FOX 5 NY’s Briella Tomassetti and CBS 2 News’ John Dias stopped by Point Lookout Beach to check out the simulation, which catches people in a rip current, promoting beach safety and collecting data on the public’s reactions.
Research Focus (1)
Hofstra University Uses VR To Put You Face To Face With A Category 3 Hurricane
Dr. Bernhardt's VR project looks to improve storm warnings and and preparation by putting you right in the middle of a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph.
Preparing Geographers for Interdisciplinary Research: Graduate Training at the Interface of the Natural and Social SciencesThe Professional Geographer
Russell C. Hedberg II, Arielle Hesse, Doug Baldwin, Jase Bernhardt, David Pahl Retchless, Jamie E. Shinn
Recent debates about the state of geography raise valuable questions about how the discipline can and should change in response to shifting institutional realities. Focusing on the breadth and interdisciplinarity of geography, these discussions often overlook the role of pedagogy—particularly graduate training—in adapting the discipline to new institutional landscapes. Drawing on experiences as current and recent geography doctoral students, we identify institutional seedlings of opportunity that can be cultivated toward a spectrum of alternative doctoral training models. These alternatives offer significant opportunities to better prepare early-career geographers for success and to solidify geography's position as a leader in interdisciplinary research.
The impacts of long-lived jet contrail ‘outbreaks’ on surface station diurnal temperature rangeInternational Journal of Climatology
Jase Bernhardt, Andrew M. Carleton
Multiple persistent jet aviation contrails – contrail ‘outbreaks’ – occur frequently over certain portions of the Continental United States (CONUS). The artificial cloudiness generated by contrail outbreaks alters the atmospheric radiation budget, potentially impacting the surface air temperature, particularly the diurnal temperature range (DTR), or difference between daytime maximum and nighttime minimum temperatures. This study evaluates the hypothesis that contrail outbreaks reduce the DTR relative to clear-sky conditions. We utilize a database of longer-lived (>4 h duration) jet contrail outbreaks for the CONUS previously determined from interpretation of high-resolution satellite imagery, for the January and April months of 2008 and 2009. The outbreak impact on DTR was determined by comparing maximum and minimum temperatures at pairs of surface weather stations (one outbreak and one non-outbreak) across two regions of climatologically high outbreak frequency; the South in January, and Midwest in April. We ensured that each station pair selected had broadly similar land use-land cover, soil moisture, and synoptic air mass conditions. For outbreaks in the South (January), there was a statistically significant reduction of DTR at the outbreak versus non-outbreak stations. This result was similar to that obtained for a smaller subset of outbreaks for which lower-level clouds could be confirmed as being absent (from North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) output). For the Midwest (April), the results are mixed; statistically different for satellite-retrieved outbreaks, but not significantly different for the NARR-validated dataset. These results suggest that persistent jet contrails should be considered in short-term weather forecasting, and for their potential influence on the climatology of more frequently impacted areas.
Determining Regional Weather Patterns from a Historical DiaryAmerican Meteorological Society
Prior to the twentieth century, there was a dearth of official local weather and climate observations for much of the United States outside of major cities. Useful information can be gleaned, however, from primary accounts, such as historical diaries kept by farmers and others whose interests were tied to the land. Herman Smith, a farmer in west-central New York State, kept a detailed record of daily life, including weather characteristics such as temperature, precipitation, and wind, for his farm near Covert. Two full years of his diary, 1884 and 1886, were recently published and selected for study. Although typically not numeric data, the lexicon used in the diary to describe relative heat and cold allow Smith’s observations to be analyzed semiquantitatively in order to determine the weather experienced that year including factors affecting the growing season, as well as significant weather and climatic events. The analysis demonstrates that for Covert—located in an area of topographic variability and proximal to the Finger Lakes—microclimatic effects occasionally dominated over the synoptic circulation. This finding was further reinforced by comparison of Smith’s 1886 records with those of a nearby farmer. Meanwhile, Smith’s accounts also establish an inextricable link between his agricultural practices and the weather and climate patterns he observed. These findings underscore the value of acquiring climatic data from nonconventional sources for places and times when reliable data may be nonexistent in order to better understand how climate, and its impacts on the environment, have varied over time, across multiple scales.