Contact Information
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Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Fax: (303) 497-6020
PSD Staff Listing
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Lisa Darby



Lisa Darby currently works in the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) program office, which is housed in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, CO. Ms. Darby organizes stakeholder interactions and activities for NIDIS Drought Early Warning and Information Systems (DEWS) in the Southeast U.S., is a member of the NIDIS Engaging Preparedness Communities working group, NOAA’s Drought Task Force, and NOAA’s Central Region Team. She also develops NIDIS communication products, and recently served as a Volunteer Chapter Scientist for an IPCC AR5 WGII chapter on climate change adaptation.

Her work includes co-leading the DEWS in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, a basin where there is contention among stakeholders around the allocation of water. Since 2012 Ms. Darby has taken the lead, along with colleagues at the University of South Carolina, in starting a DEWS in the Carolinas. This DEWS has an emphasis on drought impacts on coastal ecosystems. Since we do not know a lot about drought impacts along the coast, this DEWS will be exploring different avenues for assessing drought impacts and addressing stakeholder needs in coastal regions.

Before Ms. Darby joined the NIDIS program office in 2008, she worked as a meteorologist in the optical remote sensing research group at ESRL for twenty years where she contributed to 30 peer-reviewed publications. She has expertise in Doppler lidar studies of mesoscale wind systems, such as windflows generated by complex terrain and thermally-driven flows such as sea breezes.

Ms. Darby also worked on an International Polar Year (IPY) project called International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA), promoting collaboration among year-round atmospheric observatories north of the Arctic Circle. She developed the IASOA web site, a data portal for atmospheric observations in the Arctic and played a role in the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) project by promoting the need for organized, collaborative atmospheric observations in the Arctic.


  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Jun 2001
  • B.S., Meteorology, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Jun 1990

Professional Information

Featured Publications

  • Darby, L.S., 2005: Cluster analysis of surface winds in Houston, Texas and the impact of wind patterns on ozone. J. Appl. Meteor., 44, 1788-1806.
  • Darby, L.S., and G.S. Poulos, 2006: The Evolution of Lee Wave/Rotor Activity in the Lee of Pike’s Peak under the Influence of a Cold Frontal Passage: Implications for Aircraft Safety. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 2857-2876.
  • Banta, R.M., C.J., Senff, J. Nielsen-Gammon, L.S. Darby, T.B. Ryerson, R.J. Alvarez, S.P. Sandberg, E.J. Williams, and M. Trainer, 2005: A bad air day in Houston. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 86, 657-669.
  • Darby, L.S., R.M. Banta, and R.A. Pielke, Sr., 2002: Comparisons between mesoscale model terrain sensitivity studies and Doppler lidar measurements of the sea breeze at Monterey Bay. Mon. Wea. Rev., 130, 2813-2838.
  • Banta, R. M., L. D. Olivier, and D. H. Levinson, 1993: Evolution of the Monterey Bay sea-breeze layer as observed by pulsed Doppler lidar. J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 3959-3982.

Research Interests

Professional Memberships

  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union


  • NOAA Employee of the Year Award, October, 2000
  • NOAA/DOC Bronze Medal, 2003. For facilitating workgroup meetings for NOAA’s SFA