2010 Physical Sciences Review » Biographies » James Wilczak

James Wilczak

James Wilczak

James Wilczak

Team Lead, Boundary Layer Processes and Applications

Physical Sciences Division


Dr. Wilczak is a research Meteorologist working to better understand the nature of turbulence, its effect on the atmospheric boundary layer, and the role of the boundary layer on shaping both weather and climate.


  • B.A. Physics, Kalamazoo College, 1976
  • M.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1979
  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1982

Research Interests

Dr. Wilczak’s research interests include the atmospheric boundary layer, its representation in climate and weather models, and measurement of the boundary layer using remote sensing instrumentation. How do we define the boundary layer, are our measurement systems capable of observing the boundary layer, and do our climate and weather forecast models have any skill at predicting boundary layer structure? He has applied his expertise to applied research programs in air quality and wind energy, both of which are strongly dependent on the state of the boundary layer.


Dr. Wilczak is the author/coauthor of more than 50 refereed publications, published in 15 different journals, with his papers receiving more than 100 citations per year. He has led in the application of remote sensing technologies for measuring the atmospheric boundary layer, improved techniques for the measurement of turbulent fluxes, and produced fundamental research on the nature of turbulence.


  • Department of Commerce Silver Medal, 1998 (ET7 Division Team Achievement)
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, 1997
  • Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, 1996, NOAA/ERL, Department of Commerce
  • NOAA/Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Employee of the Year, 1994
  • Distinguished Authorship Award, 1989, NOAA/ERL, Department of Commerce

Recent Publications

  • Wilczak, J. M., I. Djalalova, S. McKeen, L. Bianco, J. Bao, G. Grell, S. Peckham, R. Mathur, J. McQueen, and P. Lee (2009), Analysis of regional meteorology and surface ozone during the TexAQS II field program and an evaluation of the NMM-CMAQ and WRF-Chem air quality models, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D00F14, doi:10.1029/2008JD011675.
  • Delle Monache, L., J. M. Wilczak, S. McKeen, G. Grell, M. Pagowski, S. Peckham, R. Stull, J. McHenry, and J. McQueen, 2008: A Kalman-filter bias correction method applied to deterministic, ensemble averaged, and probabilistic forecasts of surface ozone. Tellus, 60, 238-249, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00332
  • Bianco, L., J. M. Wilczak, and A. B. White, 2007: Convective boundary layer depth estimation from wind profilers: statistical comparison between an automated algorithm and expert estimations, J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 25, 1397-1413.
  • Bao, J.-W., S. A. Michelson, P. O. G. Persson, I. Djalalova, and J. M. Wilczak, 2006: Observed and Simulated Atmospheric Low-Level Winds in an Episode Case of the Central California Ozone Study. Submitted to J. of Appl. Meteor.
  • Wilczak, J.M., and A.J. Bedard Jr., 2004: A new turbulence pressure instrument and its evaluation using the budget of horizontal heat flux. J. Atmos. and Oceanic Tech., 21, 1170-1181.