PSD Staff List  »  Rob Cifelli
Rob Cifelli – Lead, Hydrometeorology Modeling and Applications Team
Image of Rob Cifelli
Hydrometeorology Modeling and Applications Team
Affiliation: NOAA
Phone: (303) 497-7369
Mailing Address:
NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305

Fax: (303) 497-6101


Dr. Cifelli is a radar meteorologist with over 20 years experience in precipitation research. He received a B.A. in Geology from the University of Colorado, M.S. in Hydrogeology from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. Before coming to NOAA in 2009, his career included a Visiting Scientist Fellowship at the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Research Faculty position at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology-National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and a Senior Research Faculty position at Colorado State University.

Dr. Cifelli has designed and participated in field campaigns around the world and conducted research to improve understanding of precipitation processes. Since 2009 he has led a group of NOAA scientists dedicated to improving precipitation and hydrologic prediction in complex terrain regions. He is currently lead of the Hydrometeorology Modeling and Applications Team within the Physical Sciences Division at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory. He provides strategic direction for NOAA'¬ôs Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) and is also responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of HMT field and research to operations (R2O) activities. He also co-chairs the NOAA Steering Group on Precipitation Measurement from Space. Dr. Cifelli has over 40 publications in reviewed literature.

Rob completed a detail with the Bureau of Reclamation in 2016 and continues to work closely with the Research and Development Office where, together with Reclamation colleagues, he is designing a prize competition for improved weather forecasts of extreme events to better meet water management needs, developing guidance for considering climate information in reservoir operations, and providing guidance on experimental tools and datasets that can be used to inform flood frequency analysis and dam safety studies.

Dr. Cifelli is currently on a half-time detail with the NOAA Office of Water Prediction (OWP) working on the coordination and alignment of quantitative precipitation estimation and forecast efforts across NOAA to address internal OWP and external stakeholder needs.

Research Interests

  • Radar Meteorology
  • Hydrology
  • Precipitation Processes


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, May 1996
  • M.S., Hydrogeology, West Virginia University, Dec 1986
  • B.A., Geology, University of Colorado, May 1983

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union

Honors and Awards

  • UCAR award for education outreach, 2009