Kelly Mahoney

Image of Kelly Mahoney


Research Scientist


Hydrometeorology Modeling and Applications Team



Kelly is a research scientist with NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory's Physical Sciences Division.

Kelly came to NOAA ESRL in 2009 as a postdoctoral research fellow with UCAR's Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) program. Her PACE appointment was supported by NOAA, the Western Water Assessment, and the US Bureau of Reclamation. She was a Research Scientist at CIRES/University of Colorado from 2011 - 2015.

Kelly's research background is in weather forecasting and severe weather, with a focus on research applications. Her research at NOAA ESRL spans topics from warm season extreme precipitation events in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, to extreme rainfall and flooding processes in the Southeastern US. In general, Kelly enjoys focusing on understanding how extreme weather events may be both better predicted today, as well as how they may change in future climate scenarios. She enjoys working with a diverse group of stakeholder and user groups to find the best ways for NOAA science to improve current practices and policies.


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, North Carolina State University, Dec 2009
  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, North Carolina State University, Aug 2005
  • B.S., Meteorology, North Carolina State University, May 2003

Publications (through 2011)

  • Mahoney, K. M., and G. M. Lackmann, 2011: The sensitivity of momentum transport and severe surface winds to environmental moisture in idealized simulations of a mesoscale convective system. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 1352 - 1369.
  • Mahoney, K. M., G. M. Lackmann, and M. D. Parker, 2009: The role of momentum transport in the motion of a quasi-idealized mesoscale convective system. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 3316 – 3338.
  • Brennan, M. J., G. M. Lackmann, and K. M. Mahoney, 2008: Potential vorticity (PV) thinking in operations: Diagnosing the dynamical impact of latent heat release in numerical model output. Wea. Forecasting, 23, 168 – 182.
  • Mahoney, K. M., and G. M. Lackmann, 2007: The effects of upstream convection on downstream precipitation. Wea. Forecasting, 22, 255–277.
  • Mahoney, K. M., and G. M. Lackmann, 2006. The sensitivity of coastal cyclogenesis forecasts to convective parameterization: A case study of the 17 February 2004 East coast cyclone. Wea. Forecasting, 21, 465-488.