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Eddie Wolff

Profile picture for Eddie Wolff

Contact Information

Natural History Building 4050-D
1301 W Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Graduate Research Assistant
Advisors: Drs. Robert Trapp and Stephen Nesbitt


I joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in Fall 2021 as an M.S. student. Prior to attending the University of Illinois, I earned my undergraduate degree in atmospheric sciences from The Ohio State University where I also minored in mathematics and theatre. While there, I participated in research projects with both the Department of Geography and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, the latter of which involved installing and maintaining a network of weather sensors across campus to monitor the university's contribution to the urban heat island. I also completed an honors research thesis focusing on the use of GOES satellite data to estimate tornado strength from the size and temperature of overshooting cloud tops. This thesis was a continuation of work that I began through the REU program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in Summer 2020.

My current research also relies heavily on satellite observations, using this and radar data to analyze processes associated with the formation of quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) tornadoes. This work is funded as part of the Propagation, Evolution, and Rotation in Linear Storms (PERiLS) field campaign which took place in 2022 and 2023. As part of this campaign, our research group deployed mobile radars, mobile mesonets, instrumentation pods, and radiosondes to collect data on developing QLCS tornadoes. My role involved assembling and operating our quickly-deployable C-band radar (COW). This data, along with other observations, will be used to develop a more robust understanding of how these storms form and how they can be forecasted more accurately. 

In addition to my research, I'm also involved in several committees here at UIUC including the department's Graduate Ambassador program, the Midwest Student Conference on Atmospheric Research (MSCAR), and the department's DEI Committee. I am also a member of the American Meteorological Society where I serve on the Student Conference Planning Committee, as a student member on the Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting (WAF), and as the co-chair in training on the Board on Student Affairs' Specialty Meetings and Events Committee.

Research Description

My research focuses on tornadogenesis in quasi-linear convective systems (QLCSs), specifically the role of updrafts in the formation and maintenance of these storms. I utilize GOES satellite data and an OT detection algorithm developed here at UIUC to identify these updrafts from the cloud-top level and multi-radar multi-sensor (MRMS) data to track them in the upper troposphere. I've also analyzed radar data and both surface and upper air observations from the PERiLS field campaign to develop a complete picture of the near-storm environment.

In addition to this project, I'm also interested in societal impacts of severe weather; specifically quantifying how socioeconomic variables impact the likelihood of tornado fatalities. I've also worked on projects comparing wind loads on low-rise buildings from tornadic and straight-line winds.

I also frequently assist in maintaining the department's FARM instrumentation facility, including testing of sounding systems and driving/operating the DOWs for local deployments and outreach events.



  • PhD Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (in progress)
  • M.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (August 2023)
  • B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, The Ohio State University (May 2021)
    • Minors: Mathematics and Theatre

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant

  • Spring 2022: ATMS 100 - Introduction to Meteorology
  • Fall 2021: ATMS 302/PHYS 329 - Atmospheric Dynamics I